Stories

The Devil In The Suit

Summary

He is the lion and she is the prey. He is the king of the jungle and she, the lowest rank of the cat family. The boss who gives orders and she the PA who must adhere to them or she could kiss her job goodbye.
Genevieve Miller accidentally landed herself a job at Coker enterprises, she thrives to survive in the midst of a horrifying job, working for an arrogant and callous man. She’s lost in a maze of mixed emotions without a map, encountering challenges and difficulties only to get to the end realizing her prize was the boss.

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*PROLOGUE

Genevieve scrunched up another piece of paper into a mediocre ball and swiftly tossed it in a trash can lying at the far end of her room. If it was any other day, she would have rejoiced in excitement for an impressive throw. She groaned loudly, in a not-so girly tone followed by a stray sob.

She hit her head against the wall in front of her, crying slightly at the harsh impact the minuscule act gave her. She needed inspiration and she wasn’t getting any. Writing has always been Genevieve’s passion, it was a talent she thanked the Almighty for. Finishing secondary school at the top of her class was a great accomplishment on her part. Her dream was to become a diplomat then maybe write a few books and enhance her goals.

Her hopes and aspirations got temporarily flushed in the big hole when her father died of a cardiac arrest in a foreign state. She remembered how ecstatic her siblings and Mum were over the business trip, he was finally getting a promotion after years of fervent prayers, little did they know that the few joyous moments with their father that night was going to be the last.

She didn’t further her education, she forced her mother not to continually take huge part in her schooling expenses. Her siblings needed it more. Mrs Miller was just a mere housewife, who was lavished and intoxicated with the packages that came with marrying a wealthy man. And now she rented an affordable shop to make an effort in regaining that fine and luxurious life her late husband bestowed them with.

Genevieve took it upon herself to help and assist her Mum in any way she possibly can- by searching available jobs online; ranging from being an usher, a brand ambassador, waitress. You name it. She needed to save up for the university, she just turned twenty and she knew she wasn’t getting any younger.

“Genevieve!” Mrs Miller called from the sitting room, making Genevieve jolt in her seat. She groaned inwardly, refusing to let her Mum curse on a holy Sunday evening.

“Just a second!” She bleated feebly then weaved her way to the sitting room where her Mum was sprawled in on one of the couches. A house her father built but never got a chance to rest his tender head in. How devastating!

She relaxed on a cushion close to the wall and scanned the living room, in search of her little siblings, Mrs Miller smiled, reading her eldest child’s mind, she sat up and motioned to the front door. Genevieve gave a subtle nod and peered at her Mum’s middle-aged face. It was getting pale due to lack of refurbishment. But she knew deep within her that it was coming to an end pretty soon.

“Aren’t you going to complain about your salary? It’s been a month and they refused to pay you, aren’t you bothered?” Mrs Miller asked the inevitable question, wrinkling her forehead in the process.

Genevieve simply shrugged, becoming dumb suddenly. It was one of those activation jobs she resolutely picked some weeks ago. She was a brand ambassador for a well-known establishment referred to as ‘coker enterprises’. It was one of the leading industries in the whole of Africa which specialises in the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It didn’t stop there. They also owned various hotels and exquisite restaurants. She researched all about them for the previous casting.

It was only a month’s job and she wondered why she was refused of her payment when her coworkers were paid fully.

“What kind of a thing is that now? They shouldn’t rub you off your hard earned money” Mrs Miller continued, visibly annoyed at the imprudence the Multi-billionaire company were getting on. It was true though. It was a tough job, canvassing to strangers about a brand and patiently getting their interests on it and making sure they got it. To top it all off, it was in a bar. She worked all through the evenings in a pool of her own sweat. She remembered how harsh her supervisors were, not sparing her a minute to get her aching butt on a chair.

“Mum what do you suppose I do then?” she asked eagerly waiting for a response. Her mum didn’t help getting an idea, all she does is complain and curse, pertaining the job.

“Go to the company my child, I heard one of their sites is at Victoria island. Make a move, instead of waiting for manner to fall from above” Mrs Miller explained vividly to her child then shook her head before going into the kitchen, leaving her daughter in a puzzled state.

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  1. Chapter 18
    Chapter title: An order
    Embarrassment and dismay swelled within Genevieve as she hastily shoved her belongings into the Chanel bag resting on the ground, she watched at the corner of her eyes, how Daniel pushed the lady off his lap making her let out a soft wail. Genevieve shook her head, trying to erode the thoughts attacking her mind. She felt like a one naira slut, letting Daniel get to her. she heard footsteps jolting her back to reality. Daniel squatted down helping her get her things into the bag.
    “I’m sorry for-” she whispered, picking up her bag. Daniel took in a deep calming breath as he slipped his hand through Genevieve’s then she heard him whisper “Genevieve”
    She immediately plastered an indifferent expression on her face, she released her fingers from his, gathering her split courage and exited his office quickly.
    * *
    Few minutes ago..
    Daniel was viewing the papers Genevieve just sent in earlier when he heard sounds, more like heels torturing the ground. He looked down confusedly only to come across heels, glittery as gold, he shifted his eyes meeting a vintage gown with a wide split, he watched how elegant hands held unto her straw clutch like her life depended on it. Then her face came into view, her fair skin covered in makeup which screamed ‘perfection’ she was grinning broadly as she watched his eyes roam her. He furrowed his brow as she continued to flash her straight white teeth.
    “Daniel!” Melissa James smiled, sauntering expertly towards his desk, she raised up her chin, giving him a sensual once over “I haven’t seen you like forever”
    Daniel rose and approached her immediately, he held unto her arm tightly displeased at her arrival. She screeched in pain, forcing her freedom. “Melissa, what the hell are you doing in here?” He sneered through gritted teeth. “Leave this minute or I’ll make you”
    “Daniel, you’re hurting me!” She pouted, giving him the puppy dog look. Daniel hissed irritatingly as he dropped his hand and brought it to his side. He closed his eyes so tightly, trying his best to flush in the rage gradually forcing it’s way out. He opened his eyes only to see Melissa rub her arm furiously, she was always so conscious of getting blisters.
    “I can’t believe you did that. You’re so mean!” she hissed in anger, folding her arms against her chest. Daniel remembered how this was always a turn on for him but now he was disgusted by her presence.
    “Leave Melissa!”
    “I know you missed me but you’re just too conceited to see it. I could remind you of what we shared you know” she purred as she continued to smile ingratiatingly. She placed one hand on his clothed chest, drawing circles around it. Daniel waved off her fingers abruptly and wondered why on earth he fell for her. She smirked in satisfaction as she pushed him gently on his chair “watch me Daniel”
    She sat on his laps quickly, scared he might push her off. She roamed his chest, and used her other hand to stroke his hair. Daniel raised his hand, wanting to dismiss her advances just as they heard clattering, making them jink apart. Daniel drive her off him, getting up. He neared Genevieve, seeing her scurry for her things.
    He squatted down helping her, “I’m sorry for-” he heard her say, he took in a deep breath, lacing his fingers with hers and whispered her name softly “Genevieve”
    He stood in bewilderment as he watched her leave then turned to Melissa who stood painfully, one hand on her butt.
    “Daniel!! You keep hurting me!” She yelled “so that’s the mystery girl huh? Your employee, like seriously?” Then she paused, a smirk pasted on her face “you couldn’t wait for me and you tried someone else. Aww, Danny”
    He felt the urge to dismember her head away from her body. What an annoying little minx!
    He hissed, walking out of the office. He needed to explain everything to Genevieve.
    “Don’t you dare leave me here. Hey! Come back here!” Melissa yelled at Daniel’s retreated figure.
    Genevieve wiped away a stray tear as she got out of the lift. Tope had long gone already, she sighted Gabriel seated quietly, typing away. She grabbed him by his arm, muttering “please, let’s go”
    “Genevieve, are you alright? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost” Gabriel said, his voice tinged with concern as he followed after her, proceeding to his car.
    “It’s nothing Gabriel” she rushed, sliding into the passenger’s seat and strapping her seat belt on.
    “You sure?”
    She nodded, staring at her palms. Gabriel’s car roared back to life as he carefully pulled out of the parking lot. Genevieve couldn’t help but look back, hoping to see Daniel. Her heart ached as the area was clear of him. Why was she so upset over her boss’ affairs? It shouldn’t bother her but what was this strange feeling she derived out of seeing them together. Jealousy? Certainly not.
    * * *
    Daniel hopped in the shower and programmed it, he closed his eyes, groaning in relief as the hot water cascaded down his body. His mind displayed the emotions that were running through Genevieve’s face, what she’d probably think of him now. He searched everywhere for her but was told she left already.
    He sighed, reaching for the towel and tied it around his waist. He padded out of the bathroom and into his room. He fell on the bed, burying himself with his comforter. Too exhausted to dress himself for the sleep ahead. He needed to fix this, but how? All his life, he never cared about anyone’s feeling, but now it was different. He needed her. He wasn’t a romantic but it doesn’t hurt trying.
    * * *
    Genevieve plodded into Daniel’s office glumly, not bothering to mutter a good morning, with her expression stoic, she cleared her throat, hoping it would destroy any form of emotion in her voice.
    “Mr. Bernard called to cancel today’s business lunch” she informed sternly, Daniel got up, walking towards her, she didn’t move back this time, she was stronger than that now.
    “What did you say?” Daniel asked, the corner of his lips rose into a smirk.
    She raised up her chin “the business lunch date has been cancelled. Mr. Bernard called himself” she replied her tone a bit raised.
    “Did he?” Daniel teased.
    She pursed her lips, trying her best to hide any hint of emotions “I think this’d be all for now sir” she turned around but was stopped by his hand.
    “Not so fast Genevieve, where do you think you’re going. Huh?”
    he held unto her wrist tightly, pulling her to his chest. Her eyes widened at the act, she opened her mouth to say something but stopped herself, she chewed on her tongue, trying to denial any sound.
    “Excuse me sir, I think I should be somewhere else right now”
    “And where is that?”
    “Definitely not here” she snapped, narrowing her eyes at him.
    His eyes glittered as if remembering something “you do look cute when you’re jealous”
    “Jealous?” She gaped at him in disbelief.
    “What you saw yesterday was nothing. Melissa and I are done. Okay?”
    “You don’t owe me any explanation sir, why would I even be jealous?”
    Daniel frowned at her reply but soon recovered “you’re right Genevieve. Glad that’s cleared up. We’re going on a lunch break and
    It’s an order” he added when she opened her mouth to decline.
    * *
    “So?” Daniel urged as he stared at the menu book then he turned his gaze to her “what are you settling for?”
    “Um, why don’t you order yourself” she answered nonchalantly.
    “I insist Genevieve, come on, don’t be shy” he smiled mockingly.
    “A glass of water will do” she answered not tearing her eyes from the table.
    “Just water?”
    “Um. Yeah”
    Just then her stomach groaned making a blush creep it’s way unto her cheeks.
    “I think your stomach disagrees” he chuckled then turned to the waiter “spaghetti with meatballs and spicy tomato sauce seems fine, make that two” the waiter nodded, walking away.
    “So, you’re the first child right?” Daniel asked making Genevieve chuckle at his lame attempt on making a conversation.
    “Yes, how did you know that. I didn’t state it in my bio form” she eyed him suspiciously “my mum didn’t tell you our family history, did she?” Genevieve wondered if the brief discussion he had with her mother previously exposed him to their lives.
    Daniel coughed, he had Tammy investigate her background and it was a huge relief that Tammy informed she had no boyfriends nor suitors just the lame doctor. He had this sudden urge to hit him hard across the face.
    “Lucky guess” Daniel shrugged then looked at her expectantly. He wanted her to ask him about himself, that was a great start to show a girl was interested in you. Yes, he got that from google.
    “Hmm. I guess you too?” She inquired, making him smile. First step over, now moving on to the next. ‘Fill her in on your background’
    “Yeah, I have two younger siblings. Martins and Vanessa. Martins manages a restaurant as he’s on holidays. He schools in the US and Vanessa, she just graduated from the university, currently planning on opening her own fashion house here in Nigeria. She’s 23, just like you” he grinned.
    Now it was Genevieve’s turn to cough. Her false age, if the boss got to find out she wasn’t 23 but 20 she’d be toast. She put on a fake smile, quickly opening her story app to make this conversation less awkward.
    “You’re a writer?” she jerked up at his voice. She expected him to be on his phone but no, he was hell bent on making a conversation.
    Genevieve dropped her phone quickly “yeah, but nothing serious. Just random thoughts”
    “What part are you specialized in?”
    “Erm. I write stories and sometimes poems”
    “Can I see any of your works?” He inquired, eyes on her phone.
    “NO. Hmm, maybe when I’m done editing”
    “Is that a promise?”
    “I think?” Genevieve said slowly, she couldn’t believe he could actually ask that. just then the waiter came in bringing their food, she stared at it nervously, her stomach beaming at the sight. Maybe she should say a polite thank you first. Her nostrils couldn’t handle the scent anymore as she picked up her fork, discarding the thought. She took in a mouth full and brought it to her lips. She could feel Daniel’s eyes on her but this was food. How could she not take it in when it was peering seductively at her to try out. She continued eating, not bothering to glance at Daniel.
    Daniel smiled, watching her eat. All the girls he had hung out with were always super conscious when eating, making sure the corners of their mouth were clean or how they looked but she didn’t care. And that caused his beating heart racing to the maximum.
    Genevieve’s heart stuttered as Daniel leaned over the table, his thumb brushing off something at the side of her mouth.
    “Sauce” he murmured, his gaze never leaving hers. He slowing brought his thumb to his lips, licking off the stray red substance and smiled “delicious”
    Genevieve’s face boiled up as she opened up her mouth. Her face felt so warm, and the place he touched felt as if it was on fire. She returned her gaze back to her food, nervously eating and watching him beneath her eyelashes.
    Few minutes later, her phone chimed. She picked it up quickly. Daniel leaned into his seat, listening to her conversation.
    “Hey Mich” she beamed.
    “Ohh, I totally forgot. Yeah. Okay. Now? I guess. Okay okay. Bye” she finished frowning.
    “I have to go sir, I need to get something for my little brother. It’s his birthday today. I’ll meet you at the office immediately lunch is over” she rushed getting up.
    “I’ll come with you Genevieve”
    “Oh, no sir. I don’t want to bother you”
    “Did you ask me to? I offered myself right?” Daniel asked, getting up and dropping some naira notes on the table.
    “Sir thanks but-”
    “Do you want me to shut you up like last time?”
    She immediately blushed, remembering their first kiss.
    “No no, i-”
    “Let’s go. It’s an order Genevieve” he held her hand, dragging her out.
    “But sir, you haven’t even touched your food” Genevieve looked back at their table
    “I had a heavy breakfast, not to worry” he lied then faced her “there is a supermarket over there. Let’s go”
    They got to the bakery section. Genevieve gnawed on her nails staring at the expensive pastries. It ranges from ten thousand upwards. This is a bad idea, maybe she should just go to the local bakery near her house to get one. She concluded.
    “So which of the cakes do you think he’d prefer?” Daniel inquired, pointing at the glass.
    She shook her head “They are all too expensive sir, I don’t think I can be able to buy any”
    “Why do you talk so much? Just tell me the cake he’d like and you’re telling me this”
    “I’m sorry, it’s just-”
    “Genevieve!”
    “This one. With the cartoon characters sir, he’s five” she stated shyly.
    “We’ll take this. Please wrap it up” Daniel instructed the lady,
    she nodded, getting to work.
    Genevieve eyes widened at Daniel. He was offering to pay. This is just too much.
    “Sir, I promise to pay you back”
    “Did I ask for it?” she shook her head quickly “then forgot about it okay?”
    “Thank you so much sir, Joel will be so excited to see his cake” she giggled.
    “Why don’t we make him overly delighted by getting him toys” he dragged her hand, taking her to the kiddies rack.
    “Sir what about the cake?”
    “Ohh. Please, just keep it um…here. We’ll be right back” Daniel informed the seller.
    “Teenage mutant ninja turtles, really?” Genevieve laughed staring at the action figures. It was one of Joel’s favourite cartoons if not his best. She picked it up and glanced at the price tag. 10,000!! She dropped it immediately. This people must be sick, 10k for only a toy.
    Daniel discreetly picked up the toy she brushed aside and hid it behind his back. He did the same with several toys she kept aside due to the costly price and hurried to pay for them and get them all wrapped up, leaving the bags with a cashier. She wasn’t aware of it. She finally managed to pick a toy car that her pockets could handle.
    “Finally!” she sighed in relief. Daniel chuckled, taking her to another section.
    She laughed, holding a shopping cart and with Daniel acting like a five year old. He was practically dropping all the snacks and drinks in it. She would frown occasionally, telling him she couldn’t afford to pay but when she wasn’t looking, he would shove more items. Daniel paid for all the them including hers. It took a lot of time getting the items in his car but they finally did.
    “You got the toys sir” she awed in disbelief
    “It’s my duty to make a kid happy especially on his birthday” Daniel winked at her then leaned on his car.
    “I don’t know what to say, you’ve helped me so much today sir. Thank you” she smiled. Without thinking, she took a step forward and hugged him, hiding her face in his neck. Daniel immediately wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her to him, her smile faltered as she slowing pulled away. Flushing out of embarrassment.
    “sorry about that” she said slowly, awkwardly looking at the ground as she fiddled with her fingers.
    “Hey, it’s fine” he raised her chin to look at him. “Why don’t you take the rest of the day off”
    “Really?” He nodded. Then she looked at the items, frowning.
    “I’ll take you home since you don’t have a clue on how you’ll get them with you” he chuckled scanning her face.
    “Sir. You’ve done enough. I’m fine, totally” she lied.
    “Quit being stubborn and hop in Genevieve, it’s-”
    “An order” she chuckled before sliding in.

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  2. Chapter 17
    Chaltet title: in which she finds another woman.
    “What is going on here?!!” Mr. Adewale Coker demanded, the founder and owner of the Cokers enterprises. A man of great integrity, known for his intelligence, straightforwardness and unswerving probity. Grey hairs were visible in his middle hair. He was no doubt in his late fifties. His sharp suit dripped of power and expertness, complementing the stern expression on his hard face. The eyes that stared disgustedly at Daniel was a similar pair of dark cold eyes, giving out rage and spite. He looked like he was about to say something as he stirred his neck, thoroughly assessing Genevieve, who looked like she was about to pass out any minute out of embarrassment, she was staring at her palms, daring to meet his gaze. Even if she knew nothing about him, she knew he wasn’t one to lock gazes with, as intimidating and dominating as that.
    “Genevieve, please could you excuse us for a minute” Daniel whispered softly, caging his anger. He put his hands into a tight fist not daring to release them as it was the only way he could imprison the rage he was feeling inside at his father’s unannounced presence.
    Genevieve continuously nodded, scurrying out of the door and locking it quickly. Adewale Coker watched her until he heard the quiet bang of the door then turned to Daniel, his expression sickened and appalled by the earlier scene.
    “So this is what you do Daniel Soyinka Coker. What do you have to say for yourself?” His dad started, shifting his stance to circle Daniel, who couldn’t be bothered as a nonchalant expression was visible on his face.
    Silence. That was an obvious way to tame your fortified anger.
    “Leaving you here to manage my company and you go about…” Mr Adewale paused, irritated with the word as he continued “…screwing ladies? Even your personal assistant, how low can you get?” He scowled, his nose blaring as he hissed. Daniel locked gazes with his dad as they both competed with their icy cold glares.
    “She’s an exception-” Daniel grinded out, squinting his eyes as he stared back at a man he always called father, a man he thought had no flaws but standing here was the opposite. He never understood any of this when his mother, Elizabeth Coker would cry discreetly and Daniel would spy on her occasionally, then he realized that she was never happy. He remembered how his mother longed for his father’s attention. But his father never showed a hint of love, despite all of these, she remained a submissive wife in every aspect. After the death of his mother, Daniel took to women, Intoxicating himself like that was the only solution to ease his ruptured heart, until he met Genevieve, who without even trying was the light he craved for to brighten his dark and hooded heart.
    “Now tell me, what about Melissa Walsh? my colleague’s daughter. You were crazy about her but what happened? You didn’t show up on the day of your engagement”
    Daniel opened his mouth to say something but was cut off again. Mr. Coker loved to be in charge of every thing.
    “Why do you keep on bringing shame into this family? You’re not a kid anymore, Daniel. I know your mum is certainly not happy where ever she is right now” his father announced angrily.
    “Pttf. Mum? Like you cared for her while she was alive”
    “How dare you try to turn the table around. You’re 25 certainly not 15. I didn’t send you to Harvard for a degree and you come here messing around like a five year old”
    “Does it hurt? Well it should. You get infuriated every time this topic is brought up. why? Because it’s the truth, you never want to be proven wrong because that’s always what you think. The all big business man, Adewale Coker is so so perfect, are you dad? Why don’t you check yourself before pointing accusing fingers at everyone because if you did ten years ago. Mum would still be alive!”
    “What are you trying to say Daniel. That, that i killed your mother?”
    “How does it feel saying it all by yourself. Dad?” Daniel snapped, his disrespectful tone caused his father’s outrage as he slapped Daniel real hard across the face. Daniel looked at the ground, digging holes in it, trying to bury the anger he felt streaming through his entire body. Then he laughed, a quiet one followed by loud ones as he continued to snicker mockingly.
    He turned to his dad “does it make you feel any better now? No! why don’t you hit me all over again to declare how maddened you are. Yes? Because I have no feelings..is that it?”
    “As long as you bear my last name, I won’t have you talking to me in that tone young man! Here” he dropped a newspaper on the oak table and continued “this will be the last time you drag my name into one of your scandals. Take care of this nonsense!” Mr. Coker instructed, scanning Daniel’s office as he fixed his suit briskly, before leaving, not waiting for his son’s response.
    Daniel hissed, walking to his chair. He scanned the newspaper. So this is what it was all about. He didn’t even acknowledge or comment on any of the past improvements Daniel brought about in the company. He sighed, dialing his private investigator’s number.
    “Hello Sir” Tammy Jacobs greeted at the other line.
    “Yes, yes. I want you to look for the bastard who wrote an article about me on the ‘daily news’ and make sure he never writes any articles again” Daniel ordered, staring at the newspaper.
    “Sir, do you want his hands mutilated?” Tammy inquired in disbelief.
    “No, no. What I mean is, I want him out of the firm house forever. Do you understand?”
    “Loud and clear sir. I’ll make sure he gets fired and never have any jobs pertaining to journalism” Tammy answered.
    “Good. I need feedbacks. How soon?”
    “I’ll get back to you tomorrow sir”
    “Perfect. Expect an alert soon”
    “Thank you very much sir. I’ll get going then” then the line went dead. Daniel leaned into his seat, knowing that Tammy was one of the best private investigators he has hired.
    * *
    Few hours later…
    Genevieve shivered, remembering how intimidating Daniel’s father was. No one had to inform her he was. She had to look at the floor when he came out of Daniel’s office, staring at her with an irritated look. What terrified her the most was how he continued to stare until the elevators doors were shut. So creepy. Now what would he think of her, a LovePeddler? Yeah definitely that, she knew he caught them red handed but it was totally worth it. Sofia got her job back but still didn’t bother to mutter a thankful to Genevieve.
    She stared at the documents lying lazily on her desk, she needed to hand them to Daniel before leaving. She frowned, Daniel hasn’t even come out of his office after the heated discussion with his father. She didn’t think it was a good time to go into his office but what if he never comes out? it was already getting late and Gabriel probably would be waiting.
    She sighed, walking into his office after he requested her to. His seated back was faced to her as he noticed her presence.
    “Em, file 101 sir, the Administrative department just sent in these few minutes ago. Should I place it on your desk?” She asked nervously, maybe she should’ve just done that instead of asking. She mentally scolded herself.
    “Genevieve, please sit” she heard him say and she did, clearing her throat to indicate she already did that.
    He exhaled, whirling around in his seat. “Can I trust you with something?” His eyes scanned her and watched her stiffen.
    She blinked, nodding slowing.
    “Good, I need your advice on something. Is that okay?”
    “I guess”
    “Okay then. I really do like this particular girl. I don’t understand what I feel anymore for her, it’s so strong and intense, eating me up to the extreme end. I can’t think rationally when I’m around her, she takes my breath away with every movement she makes. It’s a feeling I can’t control Genevieve. What do you call it?”
    Genevieve gaped at him, all these coming out of him. Who was he talking about? He must really love this woman if he thinks of her like this, which caused her to frown internally. So all the kisses he initiated were just mere contact and didn’t mean anything to him? She thought, she thought….oh, just forget about it.
    She opened her mouth, trying her best to put up a straight face, not giving out her distress and unsettling feeling. “Love” She said but it sounded like a question to her, seriously. Love?
    “I don’t understand anymore. Is there something more than that?” He quizzed, bringing his face to stare at her eyes. She quickly retracted her face, sinking into her seat.
    “I honestly don’t know sir. You claim you like this girl so much then it shouldn’t be hard letting her know”
    “And if it were you” he smirked in amusement, he watched as all the colours seemed to have drained from her face and was worried she would pass out “I was joking Genevieve, let’s just assume it were you. But what would be your answer?” He prodded, anxiously waiting for her answer.
    She quickly got up “Er, sir. Well-oh, look at the time. It’s past 10 already!! Well.. I’m just gonna, what I mean is-I’m just gonna go” she rushed, running out of his office in a flash. He erupted in an heavy laugh but immediately stopped when he understood that she just refused him. Then it wasn’t funny anymore.
    Genevieve retrieved her bag from her seat, her lips wide spread in a grin. Was he being serious? Or maybe he wanted to tease her. But he was just assuming, so she shouldn’t dwell on it. She got to the reception and wrinkled her forehead, seeing Gabriel and Tope together. Tope blinked her eyelashes as she giggled to whatever he said.
    Gabriel noticed Genevieve’s presence and quickly stood up, advancing towards her.
    “Hey” he grinned, rubbing his palms together.
    “Hey” she smiled back then turned her gaze to meet Tope, who was seen, swooning silently behind Gabriel’s back, Then Tope mouthed the words ‘He’s damn hot girl. My treat!’ She waved her hands, fangirl-ing.
    Genevieve stifled a laugh but couldn’t control it for long as she lot out a full laugh.
    “Is there something wrong with me?” Gabriel frowned, scrutinizing his Dior jacket for stains or creases, then he frantically touched his face, assessing it with his fingers, making Genevieve laugh even more. They didn’t know when a lady suddenly walked past and got into the lift.
    “So can I take you home now?” He asked Genevieve who slowly retrieved her breath. She nodded, hands digging into her bag for her phone but found nothing. She hissed then sighed “just wait here. I think I left my phone in the office”
    She said hurriedly as she got into the lift. She entered into her office and smiled, seeing her phone resting on her table. She snatched it and was about walking back to the elevator when her eyes caught a hold of something.
    She scrunched her eyes as she noticed Daniel’s office door was slightly open, she stopped right in front, trying to get a view of the inside but couldn’t see anything, then she heard noises, she let curiosity get the best of her as she slowly moved the door only to see a woman seated on Daniel’s lap, one hand on his chest as she stroked his hair seductively. Genevieve let out a soft gasp as her bag unconsciously fell right off her arm to the floor, letting all her items hit the tiled ground in a clatter, making Daniel jerk up towards the opened door.
    Thanks for reading
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    If not, no episode 18

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  3. Chapter 16
    Chapter title: Make her stay.
    Daniel released his lips from Genevieve’s, resting his forehead against hers as they panted heavily. His dark eyes were clouded with desire as he held her head softly.
    He sighed “let’s take you back” he whispered, his breath fanning her lips. It took him a lot of self-control not to take her right there. He stared into her beautiful eyes, seeing a myriad of emotions, ranging from embarrassment to nervousness. She flushed, looking away.
    He stood up, then picked her up bridal style, not forgetting to grab her jacket and flats. She gasped, her heart thumping. She wrapped her hands around his neck as he adjusted her tightly. They stared at each other intently as he slowly walked to his suite. She rested her head on his shoulder, inhaling his scent as she snuggled closer. She suddenly felt safe. He dropped her carefully on the bed, scared she might break. He smiled, seeing her eyes slightly closed and immediately took the quilt and covered her. He sat gently on the bed as he studied her closely. He could see her left cheek which was slightly bruised. Anger surged through his entire body as he clenched his fists. He should have killed the bastard when he got the chance! He stood up, rummaging through his cabinet, he got out an ointment and quickly applied it on her cheek to prevent it from swelling. She flinched a bit but soon relaxed and returned to sleep.
    He chuckled, then kissed her on the forehead, before advancing to the door and closing it behind him when his uncle came up to him.
    “How’s she doing?” Mr. James Savage inquired.
    “She’s asleep now. What did you do with that Bastard?” Daniel gritted out the last part.
    “Don’t worry about him, Daniel. He’s the court’s problem now. Do you know that he’s been charged with multiple cases of rape and assaults previously. I will make sure he doesn’t repeat this again with anyone”
    “What a shameless old man, I can’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t arrive on time” Daniel clenched and unclenched his jaw, his eyes burning with rage.
    Mr. Savage nodded then paused, staring at Daniel, a mischievous smile slither unto his lips as he raised his brows before saying..
    “I’m happy you’ve finally found her. Make her stay, Daniel. It’s a warning” his uncle instructed, walking away. Daniel stared at his retreating figure, wondering if he was that obvious.
    * *
    Daniel and Genevieve were both seated in his car, driving to her home. They left three days after the incident. His hotel had been fully established. He was getting positive feedbacks on his refurbished alcohol, all thanks to Genevieve’s last minute’s contribution and he needed to get back to his office in Lagos.
    He would glance at Genevieve from time to time, only to see her looking straight ahead, an unreadable expression attached on her face. His hands itched to pull her close to him but he didn’t want to scare her away. He noticed her slight distance. Her one word answers and the awkwardness surrounding them both was the top of the list.
    Genevieve sat quietly, looking straight ahead. That night was the second time they kissed. She admits it was even better than the last time. But what did it matter? He never approached the topic neither did she. Why does he keep doing this to her? forgetting that she’s a human with feelings. Were they a couple like the ice cream boy said? Or maybe it was only in her head.
    She jolted away from her thoughts as the driver pulled over in her driveway. She got out quickly but was stopped by him, he held unto her wrist, making her feel the very familiar current passing through her entire body. She gaped at his hand, shifting her eyes to meet his, his eyes were burning with an intense feeling she couldn’t decipher that made her shiver under her skin.
    She stared at his lips as it opened slightly, then she heard him say “take the rest of the week off, okay?”
    She nodded, not daring to speak. Her hands shook. Her mind racing with thoughts of them kissing again.
    “Are you alright?” Daniel asked worried as he noticed her pale face.
    “Yes” she whispered since she couldn’t find her voice. Because if she did, she would be a trembling eel.
    He surveyed her face, not convinced by her answer. He raised his free hand, then touched her forehead with his palm.
    “You’re burning up, Genevieve. You’re not okay. Come on, let’s get you inside” he protested.
    “No! I’m okay, nothing serious. Pain killers will do” she rushed, getting out of the car with her luggage. Daniel followed.
    “Are you sure?”
    “Yes. Very” she laughed nervously then quickly got out the keys from under her doormat, inserted it and rushed in before he could say anything. She exhaled sharply as her heart pounded.
    * *
    Rumours speculated the whole building that the boss was in a serious relationship. It exceeded the building and entertainment newspapers and blogs carried it. It made the headlines. Every body keyed into it, except Genevieve, not one for entertainment gossips.
    It was no doubt that Daniel Coker was one of African’s finest and richest bachelors. Seeing an unrecognised girl with him aroused curiosity. ‘Who’s this mystery girl?’ Every man, woman, boy or girl wondered. Sofia was the first to make the accusations.
    Genevieve just got to the Office. She sighed, arranging her table.
    She noticed Sofia walking towards her office. Sofia’s eyes unreadable as she walked. Genevieve rolled her eyes, placing her head on the table, waiting for the boss to arrive. Suddenly, a loud noise jerked her up. It was Sofia, she hit the desk with her fists. Genevieve stared at her in shock. Now Sofia’s expression was readable, her eyes were blazing with fury??
    “Now listen to me you little slut, you think you can just come here and capture the boss’ attention. Now tell me you bitch, how many rounds?” she snarled accusingly.
    “What are you talking about?” Genevieve got up, clearly confused.
    “Shut up your gob of a mouth. See this, you spent barely a week with the boss and you’ve become the center of attraction” Sofia hissed, shoving her phone in Genevieve’s eyes. Genevieve’s rolled her eyes, staring at a picture of Daniel and herself?!!!
    She gasped slightly. It was taken at the ice cream shop. ‘dessert world’. Daniel was seen, grinning like a love sick puppy, staring at Genevieve. Whose face wasn’t seen. Beside it was another picture of them outside the restaurant. Daniel’s hands was wrapped around her waist and they were staring at each other passionately. It was very clear to a third party that they were in love. The emotions in his eyes and with the way he looked back at her was a solid proof. She couldn’t help but thank God that her face wasn’t visible. Below the pictures, were the words..
    ‘Nigerian young billionaire, Daniel Coker, caught with his mystery girl’
    Her eyes widened. News do spread fast “I don’t understand-”
    “You don’t understand what? That you’re a slut” Sofia scoffed, vigorously eyeing Genevieve.
    “Don’t you dare call me a slut, how sure are you that the girl is me huh? Wait, wait. You think I don’t know how you’ve gone all the way just to seduce Mr. Daniel. So shameless” Genevieve hissed. She knew that few weeks ago, Tope even confirmed it being true. Genevieve wanted to take back those words but it was already too late.
    “You little witch!” Sofia sneered, bringing her hand to slap Genevieve across the face. Genevieve closed her eyes, anticipating the slap but it didn’t come, confused, she opened her left eye slowly. Daniel held unto Sofia’s wrist tightly. Glaring at Sofia murderously. If looks could kill, Sofia’s corpse would be eaten by worms living six feet under already. That was how hard Daniel Glower was. Sofia flinched, crying out in pain at his painful grip. He dropped her hand abruptly.
    “Sofia, I want you to get the hell out of this building and never come back” he ordered. Sofia immediately fell on her knees crying. She held unto his legs, begging.
    “Sir please, you can’t do this. I’ve been working for the company over two years now. Please I beg you” she cried, shaking his legs. Genevieve felt a pang in her chest as she watched her. Feeling pity.
    “You’re fired, I won’t be responsible for my actions if you don’t leave here this minute” he said, removing her hands from his legs and turned, walking to his office.
    “Oh God! I’m finished” Sofia cried, getting up.
    “Sofia-” Genevieve started.
    “You, it’s all your fault” Sofia pointed an accusing finger at Genevieve.
    “You started it Sofia, see now. Just wait. I’ll be right back”
    “Yeah, go do that since you’re the only one who can tame him” Sofia huffed, placing her self on one of the couches.
    Genevieve rolled her eyes, hitting at the door briefly, she turned the doorknob when she heard Daniel say “come in”
    He was seated on his swivel chair, adjusting his tie.
    “Er” she started shyly. This was definitely going to be difficult.
    “If you’re here to try to convince me on rehiring Sofia, then forget about it” he snapped immediately. Genevieve sighed, turning to go away but halted when she heard him say “or I could change my mind”
    She turned to him, raising a brow suspiciously. Daniel stood up, wearing a cocky smirk as he mooched towards her and stopped in front of her.
    “I could always go back on my words, Genevieve” he smiled, pulling a strand of her hair behind her ears. She gasped at the contact.
    “Y-you W-will?” She managed to voice out, her legs shaky.
    “Try me” he whispered in her ears then leaned down. Their lips were in front of each other and a quick movement could make them meet. He was about taking hers when they both dispersed, hearing a husky voice yell.
    “What is going on here?!!”
    Thanks for your earlier comments guys!!

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  4. Chapter 15
    Chapter title: i’m addicted to you like a drug.

    The sun glinted on the open window, beaming through the curtains as Daniel stirred in bed. He groaned, squinting his eyes, trying to block the irrelevant light. Then he felt a sharp pain on his temple, he growled, closing his eyes as it felt like someone used secateurs to rip open his head. Then he felt someone squirm beside him, he quickly sat up, ignoring the hangover as his eyes caught a hold of a feminine figure laying peacefully beside him on the bed. He gaped at Genevieve as she turned, now facing him. Different thoughts sprinted through his mind. How did she get in here? did they- did they have s-
    No, no. He shook his head, trying to regain his senses. He remembered going to a bar and taking few shots of tequila, wanting to get rid of those unwanted thoughts, comprising of Genevieve. But now, it did the opposite. What was she doing in his room, on his bed? He glanced at his clothes, he was still in them. Then that means they didn’t. Then what was she doing here? He sighed, shifting his gaze to look at her. She was in a night dress that looked way too clingy as it brought wild thoughts to his mind. He exhaled, peering at her face.
    “Genevieve” he whispered but she only mumbled incoherent words that made him smile. Should he wake her up? Or maybe just watch her a little bit. He fought the urge to wrap his arms around her and pull her to him. He remembered the very first day he set his eyes on her, not in the office. How beautiful she looked even in a pool of sweat.
    “Why do you keep doing this to me” he said quietly as he slowly traced his fingers down her face. She shivered at the contact, making him chuckle lightly.
    “You ruined me for everyone else, without you even trying” he tucked her hair behind her ear, bringing his nose to her cheek. He inhaled lightly, brushing her cheek with his lips.
    “Your scent. I’m addicted, so addicted. I don’t understand what I feel inside anymore. You’re like a drug, Genevieve, a drug” he placed light feathery kisses unto her cheek, then to her chin, his lips rested just below her lips as he couldn’t control himself anymore. He leaned down, pressing a light kiss to her lips. He stared into her eyes, watching them slowly flutter open. He quickly rested on the bed, pretending to be asleep as he watched her beneath his lashes.
    Genevieve yawned, scratching her eyes. She turned to the other side as she opened her eyes fully. She frowned, looking at an unfamiliar room, then the images of last night came crashing to her head. She gasped, dreading to get up. She turned slowly as she saw a sleeping Daniel, she smiled victoriously, getting up on her feet, tiptoeing to the door. She was about to turn the doorknob when she heard his voice.
    “Good morning, Genevieve” his voice was cocky. She closed her eyes, her heart racing.
    “Good morning, sir” she replied without looking back.
    “I made sure you had a suite, so why then did you choose to use mine?” she heard him say.
    What an obnoxious man, so he doesn’t remember about last night or maybe he just wanted to torture her. She thought. How then would she explain it to him? So embarrassing.
    She whirled around “sir, you don’t remember?”
    “Remember what?”
    “You came in here drunk and I couldn’t just leave you all by yourself, so I decided to help you to your room then you be begged me to stay-” She emphasized every word, using her fingers as she talked. She hated herself for not getting up at the right time.
    “Hmm, an excuse to have a night with the boss, is it?” He got up saying…
    “Did we?” He pointed to them both.
    She shook her head and blushed “of course not, why would you think that?”
    “Interesting” he said moving towards her.
    “Stop. Stay right there” she ordered, moving back.
    “Why?” He gave her a sidelong glance.
    “I-i haven’t brushed my teeth” she said quietly, ducking her head as she awkwardly fiddled with her fingers. Daniel threw back his head, snickering.
    “You crack me up, Genevieve. Do I look like I care?”
    “I-i don’t know”
    He chuckled “you have a nice morning glow, Genevieve and I mean it” he smirked, walking back to his bed. He got out his iPhone.
    “Sir?” She started. He looked up from his phone, viewing her face.
    “You said something to me yesterday, can you recall?”
    “Genevieve, you’re hurting my head more, just get me some aspirin please. My head hurts”
    “Yes sir” she sighed.
    “Thanks, close the door while you’re at it”
    She rolled her eyes, as if she wasn’t going to.
    * *
    “I’ll bring the documents for you to sign” Daniel smiled, escorting Mr. Baker, a business man, wanting to invest in his company.
    “I’ll do that sir, you have a meeting in about…twenty minutes on the opening of the hotel. It’s really important” Genevieve informed.
    “No problem then, I’ll be expecting you- I mean the papers”” the elderly man smiled, revealing poor and weak coloured dentals before walking away.
    Daniel nodded skeptically “are you sure, Genevieve?”
    “Of course, sir”
    “Be careful okay” he looked hesitant.
    “I will”
    Genevieve got to Mr. Baker’s room. Knocking slightly. The door flung open by a man who was grinning like the owner of the monkey which gulped millions.
    “Good day, sir. Can I come in?” She greeted.
    “Of course my dear” Mr. Baker stepped aside. “Please have a seat”
    Genevieve scanned the room, searching for a decent place to sit. The only place close enough was the bed.
    “Please, do make yourself at home” he said with a coy look as he pointed to the bed.
    “OK then” she sat then faced him “here are the documents, sir”
    “Call me Richard instead, my dear”
    “Okay, Richard?” She said awkwardly.
    “Yes, yes. Why don’t I get you something to drink?” He offered, sitting beside Genevieve on the bed. Genevieve looked at him, squinting her eyes “no, thank you”
    “Scared are you. Huh?” He teased.
    “Why would I be, sir?”
    “Good, why don’t you take your jacket off and relax. It’s pretty hot in here” he said, scooting towards her.
    “What are you doing?” She panicked, shifting back. She shivered as her back made contact with the wall.
    “You don’t have to run away from me, my sweet. God is just so wonderful, don’t you think? Creating a perfect being and bringing her directly to me” he continued as he grabbed her legs, taking off her office flats.
    “Let go of me!” She kicked his stomach with her foot, making him groan in pain. She took that as an opportunity as she got up, running to the door but he was faster, he rushed at her, grabbing her waist and throwing her on the bed.
    “Don’t be selfish, my dear. There’s love in sharing. You can’t keep all these to yourself. I promise, it won’t hurt as long as you don’t resist” he forcefully peeled her suit jacket away from her body, letting her give a horrifying scream.
    “Sir please, I beg you. Please don’t” she cried out as he fiddled with her zip. She wrestled as he hovered over her. He Straddled her hips with his so much weight. She hit him against the chest, trying to push him off her but he wouldn’t budge. He was so strong. She cried as he gave her a hard slap across the face, infuriated by her persistence.
    “Stop resisting”
    “Sir. Please. Help, help. Someone plea- Ouch!!” She yelled as he gave her another hard slap, making her slightly numb, his hands felt like iron. He tore her top, slightly revealing her pink coloured bra as he smiled triumphantly at her muteness.
    “Good girl, I love obedient girls. I won’t be rough. I promise. alright?”
    She stared at him, his disarranged face like a puzzle needed to be fixed together. He quickly removed his shirt and trousers now only in his boxer brief. She immediately screamed, not knowing where the strength suddenly emerged from, not understanding how her brain could only think of Daniel.
    “Daniel! Daniel!! Daniel!!!” She yelled, just as her body gave up and she closed her eyes, anticipating the worst.
    All of a sudden, she felt the heavy weight pulled away from her by someone. Daniel.
    Daniel studied the faces of everyone gathered around the restaurant table. His gaze fell on an empty chair which was Genevieve’s. He checked his watch, his brows drawing together in a frown. Thirty minutes since she went to deliver the documents and no sign of her.
    “Daniel, are you alright?” It was James Savage. He inspected Daniel’s face as Daniel got up from his seat.
    “Please excuse me everyone. I’ll be back shortly” he said and rushed out. Why hasn’t she returned? He was having a weird feeling that something wasn’t right. He walked briskly to Mr. Baker’s room. Taking long strides as he approached. He heard his name. That voice was Genevieve’s. Why would she yell his name? He panicked as apprehension surged through his entire body, settling in his stomach. He barged into the room, not caring that the door had been pulled off it hinges. His eyes widened as the horrifying scene continued to replay before his very own eyes. A man, hovering over Genevieve who looked emotionless as tears streamed down her face, she looked weak as she let out silent sobs. Her top, almost ripped apart. How could anyone want to hurt her? That made him madden with rage. He yanked Mr. Baker roughly, making him groan as his head made contact with the wall.
    “I-i C-can explain-” Mr. Baker started but Daniel wasn’t hearing any of it. Daniel dragged him up, holding his neck, almost strangling him to death. Mr. Baker coughed loudly, struggling for air.
    “How dare you!” Daniel looked at him with murderous eyes, all emotions drained from his face as Mr. Baker cried, knowing he wasn’t going to survive.
    “I-it W-was the work of T-the devil. Please don’t kill me” Mr. Baker begged, crying like the shameless man he was, which only aggravated Daniel more.
    Daniel gave him two hard slaps across the face, as if repaying him for the ones he gave Genevieve. Then Daniel added two more, making Mr. Baker fall on his knees. Daniel kicked him in the stomach, hitting his stomach with the intention of ripping it apart. Mr. Baker begged and cried as he curled like a ball, trying to block Daniel’s kicks.
    “That’s alright Daniel. I’ll take it from here” Mr. James Savage came to Mr. Baker’s rescue, stopping Daniel from killing someone. Daniel watched as his uncle dragged a battered Mr. Baker up and took him away from the scene.
    Daniel snapped back to reality, seeing Genevieve who took the duvet and covered herself to the tip of her hair. He could hear her whimpers which caused a pang in his chest. He ran to her, removing the duvet as he anxiously scanned her body for injuries.
    “I’m so sorry, Genevieve. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have let you go. You don’t deserve any of this. I’m so sorry” he cried, holding her face with his palms to look at him. She stared at him blankly, tears flooding her face.
    “Oh my God!” He exclaimed as he hugged her so tightly, glueing her body to his. She cried harder, hugging his waist.
    “He tore my clothes, sir and slapped me so hard. What did I ever do to him?” she sniffed, resting her head on his shoulder.
    “Shh. He’s a psychopath, Genevieve” he brushed her hair with his fingers and embraced her tightly. She involuntarily wrapped her legs around his waist, sinking into him. He stifled a groan, she was oblivious to what that act gave his insides. Their sharp intake of breath were the only sounds heard as they stayed like that for five minutes. She shivered again as he broke the embrace. He quickly removed his suit jacket and covered her up with it. She looked at him and couldn’t control the tears anymore.
    “Please, Genevieve. I can’t see you like this” he whispered as he raised her chin up to look at him. He raised his thumbs, wiping her tears away. “Please don’t cry” he whispered slowly as he stared into her eyes. He leaned into her slowly, his lips slightly touching hers, making her open her mouth as a gasp escaped her lips. He immediately captured her lips in a kiss. Slightly pushing her back to the bed, while Genevieve, still wrapping her legs around his waist, she put her hand into his hair, pulling as he made her forget all about the events of the day, filling her with giddiness instead.
    Aww, poor Genevieve. Pls do like, comment and share with your friends. Thank you very much.
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  5. Chapter 11
    Chapter title: in which he takes her home.

    She tried to move her legs but it didn’t budge. Then she tried turning to the opposite direction, helplessly aiming for the restroom but a voice interrupted that brisk movement.

    “over here” it was Gabriel, his tone excited like he couldn’t wait to show her what was in front of him. She sighed, whirling around to see her date wave enthusiastically like a child.

    She put on a fake smile, hands shaky, plodding towards the table. Gabriel immediately offered his chair then glanced around for an empty one because Daniel was occupying hers. She got seated, wrapping her fingers around each other and glaring at her untouched food like it could suddenly reveal a way of getting rid of unwanted guests. She fought the urge not to look at Daniel but who was she kidding? she still stole a glance. Daniel was dressed in a business suit, depicting business. His grey tie circled around his neck. His black hair tousled up in a good way. Lips too pink. He looked jaw-droopingly handsome which made her look perturbed. What about his date? She thought.

    Daniel stared at Genevieve, he knew she was aware of his presence. She griped her fork too hard, not even scooping a meal. Jenny, his date got a call from her agency just as Genevieve got to the toilet. It was an emergency shoot. Daniel couldn’t care less if Jenny suddenly disappeared in thin air. She forced her self on him and he saw her as a way of getting rid of his problems. He had more fun watching his PA gamut of emotions.

    Genevieve hardened her grip on the fork, wishing it was his neck she held so tightly, ripping it apart.

    The tension between them was palpable that a knife could go through it. None of them daring to say a word. This is what happens when you force your PA into a kiss. The air suddenly seemed intense. Daniel surveyed Genevieve with a nonchalant expression while she, almost shoving her face in the food, pretending to be unaffected by his presence. Gabriel got an extra chair, a satisfied smile on his face as he sat, facing Genevieve.

    “Can you believe he owns this restaurant” Gabriel’s voice sounded surprised.

    Genevieve wasn’t surprised, the Cokers owned different vast restaurants and hotels too. But she didn’t know this was one of them. Gabriel mentioned it was new, she should be accustomed with it if it were. Maybe he meant two months ago kind-of-new.

    “Not only restaurants, Gabriel. Hotels too” Daniel bragged, not giving out his identity yet. They had earlier introduced themselves and were laughing on Liverpool’s defeat against Real Madrid. They both agreed that Bale was the man of the match.

    Genevieve paled, making small noises as she slurped her spaghetti. It tasted nice but now isn’t a good time to go all glutton.

    “Am I right, Genevieve?” Daniel asked. Genevieve jerked up with spaghetti hanging out of her mouth. What was he doing? Loving her uneasiness was what he was doing. She slowly swallowed, dropping her fork and looked up to Gabriel. His brows rose out of confusion.

    “I haven’t mentioned her name or did I?” Gabriel gave them both a questioning look, his gaze landed on Genevieve. “Am I missing something?” He added.

    Genevieve opened her mouth to speak but closed it immediately. This was so embarrassing. Her date meeting her boss. On normal terms it wasn’t bad but the boss whose kiss you returned?

    “Genevieve, why don’t you explain it to him” Daniel eyes glittered with mischief as he studied the both of them, he leaned into his seat, folding his arms, clearly enjoying the silence.

    “I work for him. I’m his personal assistant” she replied glumly.

    “You said you worked for the CEO. Meaning he’s the CEO. Wow, Daniel Coker, never thought I would meet you in person. No wonder you looked so familiar. It’s a privilege to finally meet you” Gabriel offered his palm for an handshake and Daniel took it, saying “pleasure is all mine, Doctor Gabriel” but it didn’t reach his heart even Genevieve knew that.

    Genevieve resumed her food, the date turning from a romantic date she wished for into a business gathering. She would fake a chuckle from time to time just to feel among. Daniel would stare at her, trying to capture her eyes. But she didn’t even spare him a glance. She met another side of Daniel today, despite he was still in his office clothes, he never sounded arrogant. He behaved like a normal- not bonkers human. A part she wished would be amalgamated in him permanently.

    * *

    Genevieve fretfully dropped the files on Daniel’s table. Angry about two things. Firstly, the kiss, then his intrusion on her perfect date on Saturday. She wished work didn’t resume on Monday because she had to face him again. She fought the urge not to spit on his face for taking advantage of her. But she couldn’t do the same to her face too, she was also guilty of the crime. She kissed him back.

    She turned to leave his office not waiting a millisecond.

    “Wait” he ordered sternly, getting up. She let out a harsh sigh as she turned around, hiding any sign of emotions.

    “Who is that guy to you?” he blurted. She peered at him, searching his dark eyes for clues but his eyes gave away nothing. she knew he was referring to Gabriel. Without thinking, she also voiced out the inevitable question that has been invading her mind.

    “Why did you kiss me?” she snapped. Scrutinising his face again. He looked unfazed like he saw it coming.

    “Is that how you say a thank you?”

    “I didn’t ask you to get me a cake…sir”

    “Ungrateful much?”

    “Why did you kiss me?” She asked again, staring directly in his eyes.

    “It was a mistake, Genevieve, don’t dwell on it okay? I was so bummed and wasn’t thinking straight. I apologize, It won’t ever happen again, you have my word, I mean, it’s only a kiss”

    She felt something break inside her as he mentioned it was a mistake. Did she expect it to be something more? How could she think that Daniel Coker would want something from her, order than give her orders, but it didn’t hurt, thinking he was interested in her even if she knew he never would be.

    She hissed, rushing to the door but he retracted her by firmly holding her wrist and pushing her into his hard chest. She let out a sharp intake of breath.

    “What are you doing? Let me go” she forced out, trying to free herself. The keyword. “Trying”. It was like an ant ‘trying’ to break through a brazen wall.

    “you’re hurting me sir. Please” she cried out, breathing heavily. Daniel released her wrist immediately at her wail.

    “I’m sorry” he whispered. They heard a loud honk from outside, Genevieve glanced at the wall clock, knowing it was Gabriel.
    “Who is the Doctor to you?” Daniel demanded.

    “Why do you care sir? It’s none of your business. I didn’t see a rule written anyway that a worker here shouldn’t go out with guys after work. Or is there?” She asked. He kept mute, not saying a word.

    “You may be my boss but you aren’t the boss of my decisions” His jaw clenched at her words.
    Unknown anger flared through him as he watched her leave. He peeked through his glass window, seeing Genevieve get into a man’s car. But it didn’t zoom off. Confused, he saw Genevieve come out of the car, having a heated discussion with a man. Daniel retrieved his suit jacket, going down. The building was almost empty as everyone retired to their homes.

    Daniel stepped out with folded arms. He leaned into a wall close-by, viewing in amazement.

    “I’m sorry, Genevieve. It’s an emergency. I need to be at the hospital in about…twenty-five minutes” Gabriel added, glancing at his watch.

    “I understand. Go do what you do, you know, saving lives. I’ll be fine” Genevieve promised, straightening her high-waist skirt.

    “I don’t know. Are you sure?”

    “Yes Gabriel. Go!” She laughed, pushing him towards his car.

    “I’m not convinced yet, I’ll call a cab to get you home, then I’ll go” he disputed, eyeing the road ahead. They both turned as they heard a voice.

    “I could take her home” Daniel offered blandly, walking towards them. Genevieve froze, was he eavesdropping on their conversation?

    “No!” She yelled then turned to Gabriel who stared at her in uncertainty. “I mean. A cab sounds fine” she forced a smile.

    Gabriel pager went off again, he quickly rushed the words. “I need to go now, Genevieve. Please I rather you go with him alright? It’s safer. I’ll get going” he got in as Genevieve opened her mouth to protest but his car was barely in sight. Only if he knew it was going to be the opposite of safe.

    She awkwardly turned to Daniel “Er, you don’t have to bother yourself sir. I’ve been doing this for a while now. So- I’ll get going then”

    “I will take you home” he said coldly, getting in his range rover SUV. He studied her from the opened door, she was still rooted to her spot, making no attempt to move “get in” he ordered.
    “Who is the Doctor to you?” Daniel demanded.

    “Why do you care sir? It’s none of your business. I didn’t see a rule written anyway that a worker here shouldn’t go out with guys after work. Or is there?” She asked. He kept mute, not saying a word.

    “You may be my boss but you aren’t the boss of my decisions” His jaw clenched at her words.
    Unknown anger flared through him as he watched her leave. He peeked through his glass window, seeing Genevieve get into a man’s car. But it didn’t zoom off. Confused, he saw Genevieve come out of the car, having a heated discussion with a man. Daniel retrieved his suit jacket, going down. The building was almost empty as everyone retired to their homes.

    Daniel stepped out with folded arms. He leaned into a wall close-by, viewing in amazement.

    “I’m sorry, Genevieve. It’s an emergency. I need to be at the hospital in about…twenty-five minutes” Gabriel added, glancing at his watch.

    “I understand. Go do what you do, you know, saving lives. I’ll be fine” Genevieve promised, straightening her high-waist skirt.

    “I don’t know. Are you sure?”

    “Yes Gabriel. Go!” She laughed, pushing him towards his car.

    “I’m not convinced yet, I’ll call a cab to get you home, then I’ll go” he disputed, eyeing the road ahead. They both turned as they heard a voice.

    “I could take her home” Daniel offered blandly, walking towards them. Genevieve froze, was he eavesdropping on their conversation?

    “No!” She yelled then turned to Gabriel who stared at her in uncertainty. “I mean. A cab sounds fine” she forced a smile.

    Gabriel pager went off again, he quickly rushed the words. “I need to go now, Genevieve. Please I rather you go with him alright? It’s safer. I’ll get going” he got in as Genevieve opened her mouth to protest but his car was barely in sight. Only if he knew it was going to be the opposite of safe.

    She awkwardly turned to Daniel “Er, you don’t have to bother yourself sir. I’ve been doing this for a while now. So- I’ll get going then”

    “I will take you home” he said coldly, getting in his range rover SUV. He studied her from the opened door, she was still rooted to her spot, making no attempt to move “get in” he ordered.

    Chapter 12
    Chapter title: Trips and embraces.

    The week flew past in a blur, Genevieve would always find pleasure on the floor decorations whenever Daniel was around. While Daniel, he stopped the meaningless talks and advances towards Genevieve. She couldn’t denial that a part of her still ached for his attention.

    Genevieve swerved in bed, ignoring the loud ruffling sounds and tiny whispers. But the persistent ringing of her phone snapped her eyes open. She groaned, groping for her phone, it chimed revealing a new message. It was from Daniel, she jerked up quickly, sitting up. She glanced at the time, which read 6:05am. Why would Daniel text her so early on a Saturday? She clicked on the message.

    Daniel Coker: meet me outside. Now.

    She wiped away sleep from her eyes. She groaned, hitting her head on her pillow. Few seconds later, She peeked through the curtain, seeing a matte black BMW x7 Parked at her driveway she fell back on her bed.

    “What does this man want again? Couldn’t he wait till Monday”

    She got up, walking groggily to the bathroom. After fifteen minutes of her morning routine, she scanned through her mini closet. She could have sworn that some of her clothes suddenly disappeared or maybe she was still in her sleep induced state.

    She settled for a black T-shirt and denims. Pairing it with her black and white converse. Since it wasn’t a workday she might as well dress casually.

    She stared at the time again, 6:45am. She rolled her eyes as she walked to the sitting room. Mrs Miller was sprawled in on one of the couches, slurping her tea as Genevieve approached. She smiled seeing her daughter.

    “Did you sleep well?” she asked as Genevieve muttered a “good morning mum”

    “I guess. I need to go somewhere Mum”

    “I know, take your time my dear” Mrs Miller smiled, taking a swig of her tea. Genevieve studied her Mum suspiciously.

    “You aren’t going to ask questions?” Genevieve looked perplexed.

    “You’re an adult, Genevieve. As long as you’re safe. Go do what you do” Mrs Miller laughed richly.

    “Okayyy” Genevieve said slowing, she was definitely hallucinating. She shook her head as she mooched towards the front door.

    She exhaled sharply as she turned the doorknob.
    Daniel’s back was facing her as he spoked over the phone. She stood awkwardly, fiddling with her fingers. Few minutes later, he turned around making her heart skip a beat. He was clad in a grey Armani suit. His hair looked wet, giving away the fact that he just came out of the bathroom. With his eyes as dark as a dusky night sky. It made her want to stare at them all day.

    “Good. now, let’s go” he instructed, getting in the backseat.

    “But sir, where are we go-”

    “Get in, Genevieve. Isn’t it enough that you spent an hour getting ready?”

    “I-”

    “We don’t have all day, please get in”

    She sighed, he said please. She got in. She unknowingly brushed his fingers as she sat. She removed her hand, quickly, bringing it to her lap.

    “David, to the airport” Daniel ordered his driver.

    Genevieve gaped at him in horror.
    “Sir. A-airport?” She stuttered. Daniel turned to her with a blank expression.

    “Is there a problem, Ms. Miller?”

    “But you postponed the trip to Abuja yesterday-”

    “Well, I changed my mind”

    “Sir, I didn’t tell anyone that I’d be gone” she complained, turning back to stare at her house which had long faded.

    “I spoke with your Mum already”

    No wonder her mum was acting so weird earlier she should have known. Genevieve cleared her throat “I didn’t bring my stuff”

    “They are in the back, your Mum packed it up okay?” Then he shifted his gaze to his phone. Blocking her out.

    She blinked rapidly. That explains her missing clothes. Mrs Miller was one strange woman. Genevieve couldn’t agree more.

    Genevieve looked out the window. Her eyes wide as they drove to a small facility in the Airport. Daniel couldn’t be bothered, he was typing away in his mini computer, frowning from time to time. They were on their way to Abuja to open a new hotel slash restaurant just recently established there. Daniel needed to go himself in order to get everything in check before letting people check in.

    uniformed men greeted them as they walked past. Genevieve squealed lightly as she saw a jet close-by. They were going in that? He owned a private jet? She asked herself. She knew he was a billionaire but never imagined him owning one of the bad boys. She grinned inwardly and looked at Daniel. His eyes were fixated on his iPad. After showing their identifications they were ushered in the aircraft.

    She held her breath as she got seated on the beige coloured seat close to the window. Daniel followed suit placing his laptop on his lap. She felt Daniel move within his seat. He was fishing out his iPhone from his pocket, after the brief call, she saw him visibly relax and sink into the seat.

    She wasn’t paying attention and didn’t know when the captain’s voice drifted off from the speakers. A few minutes later, the Jet started taxiing then pulled unto the runway. As it accelerated rapidly, she closed her eyes shut, hands gripping the armrest so tightly, making her knuckles turn a different shade. Takes off were the hardest part for her.

    Daniel looked up from his laptop, seeing Genevieve clench her teeth in distress. Without thinking, he immediately lace his fingers around Genevieve’s, making her take deep breaths and relax slowly as they were now airborne. He made no effort removing his as she slowly fluttered her eyes open, her little fingers swallowed and lost in his large ones. She peered at him muttering a “thank you” pointing at his fingers to let go that she was OK now but he didn’t. He searched her eyes intensely like he was looking for something in there. Then he shook his head, immediately freeing their fingers.

    “There’s room in here, go rest. You look tired” he offered blankly, eyes now fixed on his laptop. She looked hesitant, he must have noticed because he added “I’ll finish these myself”

    She gave a skeptical nod then walked slowly to the first door she found, and holy Pizza lover! It didn’t look like she was in a plane anymore but in a five star hotel.

    A 42 inch LCD TV mounted on the wall. Cream colored walls decorated with amazing arts and crafts. A king-sized bed placed in the middle of the room that looked pretty inviting. It was like it were saying these exact words. ‘Come on, you know you can’t resist this soft quilted foam and refreshing fragrance’

    she giggled, Laying belly up on the bed. She stared at the chandelier hanging on the ceiling and didn’t know when she reached slumber land.

    * *
    Daniel came in, seeing Genevieve sleep.
    He sat close to her on the bed. His hands itched to touch, to skim his fingers on her face. She looked so delicate, harmless like a pretty kitten. She turned, whimpering in her sleep. He smiled, watching her for close to five minutes until she slowly opened her eyes, getting up. She pouted which made him stifle a chuckle at her cuteness. Genevieve stared at a familiar figure, staring back at her. She jumped up from the bed like she suddenly touched fire. Her face heated up in embarrassment. She wished the ground could just open up and swallow her away from the scene.

    He cleared his throat and said sternly “we’re here”

    Her stomach rumbled in disagreement as they strolled out of the room.

    “maybe eat first” he added chuckling, leaving Genevieve, whose face was as red as a tomato.

    They got to the hotel, they stayed at the presidential suites-Perks of being a CEO’s PA-With their rooms surprisingly close to each other. The only demarcation was a wall. It wasn’t soundproof, that he needed to put in order. Genevieve moaned as she finally landed on the bed in her night dress.

    She looked around, seeing a big picture of the president of Nigeria and a familiar aged man. He looked a lot like Daniel, she got up from the bed, scrutinising the picture. Until she saw a name written underneath in black. “Wale Coker” she muttered and knew then that he was Daniel’s father, She suddenly missed hers. Remembering that it should have been his birthday today didn’t help.

    She ran back to her bed. Tears painfully slipping off her eyes. She remembered his failed promises…..

    “Daddy, you got Mich a new phone. What about mine, dad?” 16 year old Genevieve whined, folding her arms in disapproval.

    “I know Genevieve, I’m planning on getting you an iPhone when I come back” Frederick Miller promised his daughter, eyes crinkling in sheer love and admiration. He watched her burst into loud giggles and squeals which made him smile more.

    “Promise Dad” she beamed not able to hide the excitement in her voice.

    “I promise”

    ……..flashback ended…….

    “How could you? Why did you have to lie dad? Don’t worry about the iPhone anymore. Please just come back to us. I promise to be a good girl. I promise to get up if you need hot water for your bath. I promise never to murmur or cuss ever again. Please come back. Please” she sobbed into the fluffy white pillow, soaking it with tears. She whimpered and sniffed as she continued reminiscing on the past.

    Daniel jerked up from the bed. He heard something cry but he couldn’t figure out what it was. Then it grew louder, it sounded like an human, a child or maybe a girl. The sound was coming from the walls guarding his bed. He fixed his ear on the wall, trying to gain more information. Then he blenched, it was Genevieve. Was she crying? He seemed alarmed heading straight to her room. Her door, it wasn’t locked, making different thoughts tally through his mind.

    He needed to save her, she was his responsibility. There were well-trained security guards guiding the entire vicinity but who knows? He rushed in, glancing around for the criminals only to see her cuddled up in bed not aware of his presence. She was shivering and it wasn’t even cold. The AC wasn’t even turned on.
    His brows rose as he slowly sat on the bed.

    “Genevieve” he whispered softly “what’s wrong?”

    She didn’t move, instead she cried harder, letting the tears stream her face.

    “come here” he offered, opening his arms. She looked at him for a second with a hesitant look before getting up and staying between his arms. She released all her sobs, fully crying now. He rubbed at her back, making soothing circles around it. He didn’t want to let go he, loved her jasmine scent and he inhaled, taking it in. They stayed like that for five minutes, enjoying each other’s embrace. Until she slowly pulled away, blushing. His fingers touched her chin, straightening her very unappealing face to meet his.

    “Wanna talk about it?” He asked, making her give a subtle nod.

    “I miss him so much, that it hurts just thinking about him” she sniffed, Daniel became pale as he watched her. So it was all about a guy, he thought it was something- Something more serious. He wasted his time cheering up a girl crying for a nasty breakup. What was he? a rebound? He hid the disgust in his face as he got up.

    “I will check up on you later, I need to go do some work” he rushed, getting out of her room and heading to his. What a waste of time. He said to himself, fuming with anger as he forced himself on the bed.

    Genevieve stared at her closed door in puzzlement. What just happened? He offered to listen and now he just bailed on her the minute she started. He must be blindingly crazy indeed. She thought as she cleaned up her dried tears too lazy to get up and wash her face. She smiled as she recalled the embrace. His scent, still filling the room. She hugged her pillow as her heart did a little somersault against her chest.

    Chapter 13
    Chapter title: All I see is beauty.
    Daniel leaned into his seat, watching Genevieve eat. Unlike yesterday, when he requested the food brought up to them. They were in the hotel’s restaurant, having dinner. He took a swig of his red wine, still staring at Genevieve. He knew she was aware that his eyes were glued to her, but she continued.
    “That man must be really important for you to cry all through the night” he introduced, surveying her face-which was a combination of things that are pleasing to look at.
    She looked up from her plate of rice and gave Daniel a subtle nod. Daniel stared at her with an Askance look.
    “Interesting, first love perhaps?” He quizzed, eyeing her skeptically. He didn’t give out he was anxious knowing the guy, instead he looked impressively unruffled.
    “Well-you could call it that” she laughed feebly, as Daniel insides nettled.
    “I see, you must love him so much then?” he inquired, aiming for a negative reply from her, but to his dismay. It couldn’t get any worse from here.
    “So much that it hurts” she grimaced, he watched as her eyes were glistening with tears but she wiped it away, downing her glass of orange juice.
    The breeze let out a contagious sigh in the still air, contagious because, they both suddenly sighed.
    Then abrupt silence followed, until..
    “So why did he leave you?” Daniel asked, exploring her face for answers.
    “He didn’t mean to- I mean, it happened so suddenly. I can’t believe H-he just left”
    “So if he returns, would you accept him?”
    “Of course sir, in a blink of an eye. It might be scary at first but definitely. You need not ask” she replied, chuckling. Then she frowned.
    “And he’s probably screwing a lady right now” Daniel huffed in irritation.
    He watched as Genevieve sullen expression turned into a quizzical stare, making her eyebrow rise.
    “What are you talking about, sir?”
    He rolled his eyes ” your boyfriend of course”
    Her eyes grew wide and she began to laugh hysterically, clutching her stomach. She stopped then continued again. Daniel gaped at her, suddenly quiet.
    “You’re such a strange man, Mr. Coker, I was talking about my Dad” she confessed in-between-laughs.
    He turned away, looking everywhere but her. How could he be so stupid to think she was referring to a lover the entire time.
    “Will you please stop snickering, you’re making me wanna join you” he joked, his eyes glittering. They stared at each other for a while, then started braying like fools in the middle of the restaurant. Good thing no guests were around, apart from the workers who gave them a concerned look from time to time.
    He discreetly watched as her strawberry lip balm glistened in the dim light. Her smile was definitely vogue worthy.
    He smiled painfully as he wished he could taste them again, bite those lips of hers and kiss her deeply like a caveman but it would definitely give her a scare and to himself too.
    He heard her snap her fingers in front of him and saw a frown on her face, he realised that he could do anything to wipe it out. An out-landish thought.
    “Sir, are you alright? you spaced out” he found it queer for Genevieve calling him sir after what happened between them. He thought he lost that rank the very day he kissed her, but surprisingly, she didn’t let go of the title.
    “I’m fine” his voice became husk, he quickly cleared his throat, repeating “I’m fine”
    “He’s late” she said sadly.
    “Who” he rose a brow.
    “My Dad”
    “I figured, Genevieve. Can I tell you something?” he asked. She didn’t say anything, her eyes digging into his, already giving him an answer. “You claim you love him a lot and I can see that. Why don’t you try this. Think about the good memories you’ve created with him. A smile will definitely appear instead of wallowing in grieve. He’s watching probably and from his perspective, he wouldn’t want you sad” Daniel smiled, making her smile too. She loved the way he talked. The way his fingers snap and the faces he makes. His voice, quiet but authoritative. She peered at him, her face curious.
    “I lost my Mum. She died ten years ago. I definitely understand, Genevieve. Especially when you watch her die” he gulped, feigning a chuckle. He remembered how he watched the Nurses weave their way in and out of the intensive care unit, slightly dodging each other as they hastened their pace, all because of one woman. Mrs Elizabeth Coker. Fifteen year old Daniel understood what was going on. His Mum had a stage four ovary cancer and they were slowing loosing her to death. It was a wild cry as Daniel, his father and two siblings; Martins and Vanessa stood by their mum’s side and watched her struggle for air. She looked like a piece of shrimp, her bones almost reaping out of her body as she exhaled bitterly. Then the monitor sounded an alarm- it was a low-pitched beep, displaying a flat line. The doctors tried all they could as she was unresponsive to the defibrillator, no pulse was found. Little Daniel stared at the single crash cart in disgust, all those many pieces of equipments did nothing to revive his Mum. He couldn’t help but stare murderously at his father. He was the reason. He didn’t cloth her with an hint of love. How could she have gotten to a stage four without them knowing. The accusations followed to the recent time.
    Genevieve looked at his eyes, seeing the sorrow and sadness in them. Without thinking, she snaked her fingers to his, caressing them softly with her thumbs. She ignored the electric waves passing through her entire body and gave him a smile. Daniel peered at their interlaced fingers then shifted his gaze to her eyes. Her dark brown eyes shimmered, promising betterment. His lips opened slightly just as her phone beamed. They jerked apart. it wasn’t his. He looked up to see Genevieve on the phone. Then she hurried, saying a bye, then ended the call. He knew who it was.
    “Who’s the Doctor to you?” he asked, referring to Gabriel, how emotions eluded his face.
    “He’s just a friend” she answered, watching him. She was oblivious to what those words gave him. It was relief, relief billowed through him.
    “Goodnight, Genevieve. I’ll see you tomorrow” He stood up, grinning broadly as he retired to his room. He had a lot of business calls to attend and only he understood where the energy suddenly emerged from.
    Genevieve shook her head “what a strange man” she muttered. She smiled cheerfully at her iPhone when she saw a message from her Mum.
    Super mum: so how’s my first princess doing?
    Genevieve: mum, I can’t believe you did that. Why didn’t you tell me about the trip yesterday?
    Super mum: honestly, I don’t know. He’s a very stunning young man, Genevieve (wink)
    Genevieve: mum, you’re unbelievable. I will talk to you later alright? It’s weird chatting with your mother.
    Super mum: Lol Genevieve, stay safe alright? May God protect you.
    Genevieve: Amen. I love you too, Mum.
    Genevieve laughed, her mum was just too much, she still referred to Lol as lots of love. Just then her phone beamed, reflecting a message.
    Kelvin: make sure you guys fall for each other on this trip, or I’ll feed you to pigs
    Genevieve: Love you too.
    She replied sarcastically.
    Kelvin: what are you doing between? let me guess. Kissing him again?
    Genevieve: if I was doing that, how then would I be able to message you back? Sometimes I wonder how you passed your UTME.
    Kelvin: ha ha. Your snide comments aren’t needed, just tell me.
    Genevieve: honestly, I’m devouring my chicken, but your constant text is making me loose my concentration : (
    Kelvin: Genny and food, let me leave you to enjoy your scrumptious meal. Be enjoying up and down. Make sure Mr. Coker is whipped before coming home.
    Genevieve: so that you can win the bet right? Not gonna happen.
    Kelvin: you can’t run away from love my dear.
    Genevieve: watch me.
    Even if she did like him, it was impossible for him to like her back. She thought.
    * *
    “What do you see my boy, looking at this site” Daniel’s uncle. Mr. James Savage asked. He was Vincent’s Dad. Daniel was giving him a tour around the new restaurant.
    Daniel looked at the site yet untouched “well, I see a parking lot and a garden meant for relaxation” Daniel answered, facing his father’s best friend and in-law. Daniel’s Dad and his wife. Martha Savage were siblings. Daniel saw him purse his lips in disapproval then Mr. James patted his back.
    “That’s good but you need to think big. This will be a vast hotel eventually, definitely a parking space would be created but not here, Daniel. I see a recreational center right here, close to south and a Shopping mall. Don’t you think it would be better if your hotel had all of these. Tourists would come to relax not only that, but explore for themselves, no need them going out. It has all of the necessary buildings already”
    Daniel smiled, now he understood why Mr. James was such a big business man. His imaginations were out of this world, making his organisation stand out from the rest.
    “Think about it, I’ll inform your father first. I need my rest. It’s almost dusk” Mr. James yawned, walking away.
    Daniel nodded, at the corner of his eyes, he saw Genevieve seated on a bench in the site, she was obviously waiting for them to finish. She was fiddling with her fingers as she stared into space.
    He smirked, saying to himself “all I see is beauty herself, taking my breath away”

    *A/n sorry about the wait. My schedule is a little rough this month. That’s why I won’t be updating daily. I’m deeply sorry. So, the updates will be..Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Please bear with me. Thank y’all for your supports, I feel honoured. God bless Igala land.*

    Chapter 14
    Chapter title: Shh, don’t tell Daniel.

    “Come on Genevieve, we don’t have all day”
    “But where are we going sir?” She examined his face for clues.
    “We are going on a date”
    “A date sir?” She inquired, gaping at him like he suddenly sprouted another head.
    He cleared his throat quickly “I mean a business date, with…yes, a client”
    “Wear something nice and comfy” he added, leaving her compartment for her to change.
    * *
    “Are we close sir? it’s been an hour now” she turned to Daniel who was seated beside her in the car. Daniel chuckled. He was clad in a black suit with a blue shirt underneath, it complemented her blue and white off shoulder top and denims, which matched hers coincidentally like they planned the whole blue theme.
    “Be patient, turn right” he instructed the driver and turned to Genevieve “you’ll see”
    She sighed, looking at the city beyond.
    They arrived at an enormous ice cream store named “Dessert world” she gasped as she sniffed the inside, it smelled like chocolate. They discontinued in front of a yoghurt stand with a young boy of about eighteen years behind it, clad in a lustrous pink and yellow shirt with the words ‘Taste me’ highlighted in white at the side. Genevieve stifled a laugh at the odd name. The young boy smiled “welcome to Dessert world, thanks for stopping at ‘Taste me’ please let me make your taste buds delighted as you indulge yourself in one of these” he beamed, saying expertly and tirelessly, it was obviously rehearsed and stuck in his head.
    Genevieve heart did a little somersault as she ogled the desserts resting on his tray. Daniel smiled, noting that she was a die hard fan of sweets.
    “So which of the flavours would you like? the espresso flakes, salted caramel truffle, cookie dough, banana fudge swirl, chocolate chips..”
    The young boy flashed a smile, making Genevieve feel dizzy at the too many endearing names. Daniel chuckled, telling him they preferred the latter.
    “Nice choice” the boy grinned, getting to work, she watched as he expertly threw the different creams, then he mixed them silly, her mouth watered and she haven’t even had a taste.
    “Now for the cones. Do you want the pretzel cones, the wafer cones, waffle cones, chocolate-coated waffle cones, the-”
    “Yes that one, whatever it is” she beamed and felt a blush rise to her cheeks at her eagerness to have it in her mouth. Daniel slowly snaked his arm around her waist but he dropped it halfway when he saw the young boy’s brows wiggle teasingly. Daniel turned away, coughing loudly.
    The boy laughed “the chocolate- coated waffles it is, now for the finishing touches. I’ll be adding some flaked almonds, chocolate honey comb bars and fairy sprinkles…hmm, here you go ma’am, sir” he handed them two different cones, she peered at Daniel, he nodded, offering her to be the first to try it and she did, biting into the creamy goodness.
    As the cream melted on her tongue, she tasted chocolate chips, or is it almonds, or the honey comb bars or maybe the subtle scent of bubble gum, Surprisingly garnished together in harmony. She moaned “oh my gosh! It’s so good”
    She raised her free thumb to Daniel. He stared at the pink, white and purple with teeny tiny sugar flowers in the mix. He hated sugar but he had to try it for Genevieve.
    “Try it sir, come on”
    He forced out a smile, taking a little bite “yeah, good stuff” he smiled, swallowing. But too sweet. He said to himself. He put his hand into his suit pocket, fishing out currencies, then he dipped it into the boy’s hand.
    The boy gasped outwardly at the money and bowed his head, rushing a “thank you sir, thank you ma’am. Do have a nice day” they both nodded, walking away but jinked back when they heard the boy say “you both make a terrific couple, Mr. And Mrs Coker”
    Daniel wasn’t surprised that the boy knew his identity. The Coker enterprises was one of the famous organisations in Africa. But was slightly fazed, the boy thought they were a couple.
    Genevieve suddenly seemed perturbed and shy as they walked and didn’t talk until they were seated in a nearby restaurant.
    “Where’s the client? he should be here by now sir” Genevieve glanced at her watch, wrinkling her forehead in questioning.
    “What client?”
    “But you said-”
    “Ohh, that. He. Well- what I mean to say is that. He, he…he died” Daniel stuttered, clearing lying through his teeth. He face palmed at his ridiculousness.
    Seriously, he died?
    “He died, just like that?” She asked a little concerned, Daniel grew more confident at her ignorance.
    “Yeah, heart failure. Poor man. Bless his soul” Daniel feigned sadness, blowing his nose into the paper towel lying on the table.
    She laughed “Mr. Coker, I didn’t know you had a sense of humour” she was shocked that the boss could be this joyous. She was glad he wasn’t vicious anymore, making her bond into him more.
    “Let’s be honest here, I admit I can be a little too serious-”
    “Ruthless ” she added, making him roll his eyes. She shrugged, saying.. “we’re being honest remember?”
    “Yeah, that-”
    “Arrogant too”
    “That’s it, off I go” he stood up.
    “I’m sorry” she sniggered, now she knew he was definitely short-tempered.
    “No seriously, I think we should head back to the hotel” he sighed “it’s getting late”
    “I agree” she said, slowly getting up. She watched him drop some naira notes on the table.
    She walked ahead of him, but felt his eyes following her every move. Then all of a sudden, he yanked her softly and pulled her to his hard chest, her breath hitched as a soft gasp eluded her lips “sir, W-what are you D-doing?” She stuttered, unable to tame her heart which was galloping at a fast rate, beating against her chest.
    She stared at his eyes, it was darker than before, if it’s possible. She was terrified because, she couldn’t help but get lost in them.
    Why was her heart pounding so fast?
    Why should her body always react to his little touches?
    No one ever made her feel this way..but Daniel, just a mere contact could send her to cloud nine. She looked into his eyes, searching for an answer, as the night breeze flew past, it sent her hair extensions flying over her face. He raised his hand, pulling a strand behind her ear. She couldn’t breathe, as it sent shivers down her spine. She was scared that her legs might give up the ghost.
    “There is something in-inbetween your hair” he said so softly, his breath fanning her ears.
    “Oh-” she started.
    “Er, here. Here it is” he lied, taking nothing from her hair.
    “Can I see it?”
    “No, no” he rushed, throwing the invisible substance into the night air. They both cleared their throats simultaneously as he let go, oblivious to the camera flashes around them.
    They were both seated in the back of the car as the Driver drove them back to the hotel. The awkward silence spoke volumes.
    “Why would he kiss you, if he weren’t attracted?”
    She recalled Kelvin’s words. She didn’t know what to think anymore. She needed to stay away from him. His presence aroused peculiar flames in her. She turned to Daniel who was staring back at her, his face blank but eyes, she quickly turned back. His eyes burned. He was fire, she was wax. She didn’t want to be eroded away, not yet. Certainly not yet. But she couldn’t stop thinking. What was in his head? only if she could have a sneak peek.
    Curiosity isn’t just the enemy of cats-but humans too.
    Genevieve got up from bed, frowning. She couldn’t sleep. Daniel dropped her at the hotel but he haven’t gotten back yet. Of course she was worried. She glanced back at the time. It was past 1AM already. She looked out the window, not a car in sight. She strolled to the kitchen and sat on a barstool.
    Few minutes later, she heard movements. She jerked up, walking slowly. Daniel came into view, staggering. His eyes were slightly closed and he reeked of alcohol.
    Genevieve scrunched her nose, wondering if she should just leave him there or help him to bed. She sighed, picking the latter.
    “Seriously, sir? You’re drunk” she stated as she approached him.
    “I H-had J-juss a, a tinnyy bitt of al,alcohol” he slurred, almost falling to the ground. She quickly helped him get back on his feet by placing his arm around her shoulder while she placed hers around his waist.
    She replied sarcastically “yeah, I can see that”
    “Sir, you’re just too much. Oh my gosh! How much do you weigh? I could barely breathe” she complained as they trudged painfully to his suite.
    “Oh great! You’re asleep now” she rolled her eyes. She hissed as she finally got him on his bed and whirled around, leaving. Daniel, even in his drunken state, he unconsciously held her wrist, dragging her down to him.
    “What the-” she fell on his chest, making Daniel groan, still closing his eyes.
    With her eyes wide, she glared at him, trying to get up but he was still holding unto her tightly.
    “Sir, I need to go. This is getting really awkward, your shoes-”
    “Five minutes, just five” he whispered into her hair as he pushed her farther into him.
    She sighed “but, I’m really uncomfortable”
    Daniel turned their bodies in a way that her back was pressed against his chest as he wrapped his arm around her waist. She gasped at their intimate position. Her face heating up. He was drunk, she knew that but she wasn’t.
    This was absolutely ridiculous, she tried getting up slowly but it made him growl as he snuggled closer, his breath tickled her neck as she heated up once again. Then he whispered into her ears.
    “I like you Genevieve, not as my PA but something more” those words sent her racing heart on full force as she was scared it would suddenly escape from her ribcage. Then he added quietly.
    “Shh, don’t tell Daniel” he said the last words as she heard him snore lightly.
    She blinked rapidly ‘don’t tell Daniel’ but he was Daniel, why would he say not to tell Daniel which was him. “Arrghh, so confusing” she wondered as she tried to release his arm from her waist but he wasn’t giving in. Maybe she would just wake up in the middle of the night and go to her room. She promised herself as she slowly fluttered her eyes close, enjoying the warmth of his embrace and slowly travelling to ‘Dreamville’

    Like

  6. Chapter 8
    Chapter title: Aftermath.

    As the stranger turned the ignition. She couldn’t help but look back, seeing an alarmed Daniel. He was watching in the pouring rain as the car zoomed off in a pile of exhaust flames. She shivered, glazing ahead out of the windshield, at the soft glow of skyscrapers. Her mind flamed with the memory. Daniel’s scent, a warm earthy fragrance still permeated her nostrils.

    “Bitter ex-boyfriend?” The stranger interrogated, making a tinge of heightened colour in her cheeks, she flushed, looking away.

    “Any-who, I’m Gabriel and not a ritualist” he clarified, chuckling, shifting his gaze from the road to take a good look at her.

    “I’m Genevieve, and until I get home safely on my bed, then I’ll believe you” she gave him a skeptical once-over, making sure to scan the backseats for any suspicious instruments and gadgets.

    “I’ll take that, Genevieve. It seems fair enough” he smiled, a warm and welcoming one and not the cocky smile always attached on the CEO’s facials. She frowned, wiping little to no creases from her dress.

    “Hey princess, why that frown? it doesn’t suit you. Try smiling instead”

    “How’d you know? You’ve never seen me smile before” she laughed, releasing her damp braids from the elastic rubber hair-band and tying it into a neat bun above her head.

    “There it is, you made it so easy, giving me more instead”

    Genevieve rolled her eyes. But a smile still invaded her lips. He’s such a flirt. she thought. Did she expect a man to offer her a lift and not flirt, that’s the most obvious reward for his generosity. She secretly watched as he expertly took the wheel. He put his signal on, preparing to turn left at a traffic light to a street. His short black hair messy and matted down from the rain, obviously. His strong jaw line, thick chin and long straight nose. Her eyes swept down to his button-up shirt and jeans. His Bronze skin which looked slightly tanned in the dimly lit of his Mercedes-Benz.

    “I hope I’m not probing too much but so you work around here?” He inquired, eyes glued to the road.

    “Yeah” was all she voiced out, she didn’t want to give all info about herself yet. He was still a stranger.

    She prayed silently to God to take her home safely again, increasing the amount of her seed. She shivered a little, reacting to the cold. It wasn’t raining anymore but the weather promised another heavy pour. She rubbed her palms together, Gabriel noticed then reduce the air-conditioning in the car and she smiled in gratitude.

    She gave him directions to her house and made him stop in front of her street. She needed not to be told, letting an absolute stranger in. Who knows, he might come back with armed men.

    “So.. I guess it’s a goodbye then” Gabriel turned, facing Genevieve. What was he expecting. A kiss?

    He suddenly leaned into her, making her eyes wide. He brought out something from his shirt pocket that inflated her curiosity or maybe fright. He shoved it into her palm. It was his business card, she smiled inwardly, her heart beat returning to normal.

    “Call me, and don’t save my number as one guy or Samaritan. My name’s Gabriel” he emphasized, he threw back his head, laughing at the clear possibility, she laughed too, feeling homely around this lad.

    “I will. Thanks so much for the ride and yes, you ain’t no kidnapper, Gabriel. Thank you” she eyed the wet leather seat, giving him a sympathetic smile. “Sorry about your seats”

    His laugh echoed in the car, as she was about to close the door, he stopped her swiftly.

    “Wait. I hope we could see sometime”
    “Yeah, sure” or maybe not, she added underneath her breath. He smiled as she closed the door,
    making sure he zoomed off before proceeding to her house. She shoved the card in her purse, Making a mental note to save his number later or maybe not.

    She sighed, hitting at the door, it flung open, revealing Michelle. Her 16 year old sister, embracing her. Genevieve blinked away the tears. She broke a promise. Michelle searched Genevieve’s hands but found nothing, her smile faltered as they advanced to the sitting room.

    “I’m sorry Mich. I had so much work and I for-”

    “Aunty Genevieve, you’re finally home, I thought the rain ate you up. Now I get to eat cake” Joel her five year old brother. The last child and only male child smiled, hugging his eldest sister’s knees. “I didn’t sleep, Aunty Genevieve, I kept my eyes wide open. Mum did but I didn’t” he smiled cheerfully, tugging the hem of her dress. She sighed, lifting him up and pinching his soft cheeks.

    “If I get two cakes instead of one, how’d that make you feel. Huh?” Genevieve quizzed, making her voice as animated as possible.

    “I would give you a bear hug” he clapped his hands.

    “I’m getting two cakes Joel- I mean Sergeant Buckhill” she started but corrected herself when he gave her a disapproving look. He loved cartoon characters and named himself after one “-but there’s a itsy-bitsy problem” Genevieve frowned.

    “What is it, Aunty Genevieve?”

    “I’ll get them tomorrow. The pouring rain spoilt the previous one” she lied, making Michelle giggle lightly.

    “I hate rain. But okay since you’re getting two” he laughed, releasing himself from her comforting embrace and running to his Mum’s room, shaking his butt in the process.

    “You have to get those cakes, you know right?” Michelle sniggered, making Genevieve groan loudly.

    Genevieve sprawled on her bed, hands on her lips. The kiss, she felt the emotions run through her again in a never ending bliss, making her clasp her thighs in the process. She was grateful that the next day was Saturday, meaning no work. She couldn’t help but wonder why he suddenly kissed her out of no where. Was he attracted to her? No, no. She shook her head, burying the thought. Tope said his type were hot models and not his PA. Was he affected by the kiss as much as she was? It was nothing new to him but it was to her. Many thoughts continued to tally through her mind until she drifted to a land where partially everything would be okay. In other words. Dream land.

    * *

    “She slapped you” Vincent Savage staggered unable to control his breath, he adjusted himself on the barstool, holding his chest, still staggering.

    Daniel glared at his cousin.
    “No! this is unbelievable, Daniel, a girl slapped you for kissing her, girls die to get you to look at them but she slapped you Daniel, she slapped you” Vincent laughed hard, hitting his fist on the island then using his free hand to wipe away stray tears from his eye lids.

    “Vincent!” Daniel squinted his eyes in warning then motioned the bartender for a refill.

    “I know, I know. I’m sorry alright? but it’s still hilarious. What the hell happened to you man?” Vincent inquired, downing all the heavy liquid in a gulp, he swallowed then hit the glass on the table. His eyebrows rose at Daniel in questioning.

    Vincent Savage was Daniel’s cousin, a young Billionaire like himself. Vincent knew him in and out, they were not only cousins but best friends since diapers.

    When Genevieve left, Daniel brain was clouded with outlandish thoughts he wasn’t accustomed with yet. He wondered why he kissed her, an act his brain couldn’t relate with. He had to shut her up definitely but kissing her was a foreign act. The reasonable side of his brain scolded him for allowing a young woman go on the busy streets of Lagos alone in the pouring rain. Then he decided to follow her but she had company, he couldn’t make out who the person was, but he knew it was a ‘he’. He didn’t know why he suddenly felt infuriated with her for ditching him. After what he did, there was no way in hell she could go with him. He knew that. The stranger might be her relative for Pete’s sake. He didn’t understand why he suddenly cared about her well-being. He was never bothered about anyone’s, not even his ex-girlfriend, Melissa.

    He groaned, staring at Jacob “she looked vulnerably cute and her lips- ranting unnecessarily and I guess I-i wasn’t thinking straight, then decided to shut her up” Daniel explained.

    “There are other ways to console a sobbing PA. But you chose the weirdest of them all”

    “I’m confused alright”

    “That’s just a cover up, you only wanted to taste those lips right, so tell me. How was it?”

    “I’m so stupid telling you this, you are the last guy on earth who would consider feelings and emotions, especially that of a lady” Daniel blurted, a feeling of frustration billowed through him.

    Vincent frowned, feigning hurt. “I know a lot about my ladies” he defended, hand on his chest.

    “Then, what’s the name of the girl you’re currently screwing?” Daniel challenged.

    “Pttf, Natasha”

    “Natalie” Daniel corrected.

    “Whatever man, this isn’t about me but you. So are you interested in her?”

    “Certainly not” Daniel snapped.

    “I’m going for hugs if I meet her”

    “Why would you-”
    “She’s giving my cousin a hard time, the only girl who puts you in your place” Vincent grinned from ear-to-ear, wriggling his brows.

    Daniel knew his cousin was right but he wasn’t going to admit it. Genevieve was as stubborn as a farm goat. It wasn’t about the board this time, he could fire her if he wanted to- but he couldn’t bring himself to. He was slowly enjoying her company something he fails to notice.

    “Get her to sleep with you and get this over with man” Vincent advised but Daniel shook his head against it. Genevieve was a sweet girl and he wouldn’t hurt her.

    “You need to get laid man. I mean now. Look over there, she’s gawking you. She’s a hottie” Vincent smirked, raising his bottle of vodka, pointing to a lady in skimpy clothes, revealing her inner thigh at the far end of the bar club, she was batting her false eyelashes seductively at Daniel. Daniel nodded, Vincent was right, he needed to get Genevieve off his mind and to him, the lady would do just that.

    Daniel harshly kissed the lady, taking her to a room in his hotel suite, she smiled, hurriedly aiming for his jacket and threw it on the floor, pushing him to the bed and hovering over him, Daniel peered at the lady. She was beautiful but not as Genevieve. Genevieve’s angelic face immediately invaded his mind, drowning all thoughts of desire, lust and passion into Limpopo.

    “I’m sorry, but I can’t” he lightly pushed her off him, then dropped naira notes on the bed, he retrieved his jacket from the tiled ground, leaving the unknown lady in petrified stupidity.

    Chapter 9
    Chapter title: in which she sees him again.

    It was Saturday. Genevieve seemed to be the first person who got up from bed in the whole of Nigeria. She rushed to a bakery not far from her home. She paid a lot than usual to get the cake customized since there wasn’t a birthday cake available. Of course it was just a cake, she couldn’t possibly get two, since it cost so much.

    She sneaked into her home and abandoned the cake in the fridge. It would be a morning surprise to her mum when she opens it. It was compensation for last night. Last night!

    Genevieve struggled to sleep all through the night. Each time she tried to flutter her eyes shot, images of Daniel and the kiss scene replayed at the back of her head. It suddenly turned to her default setting.

    She needed to talk to someone and that happens to be Kelvin Soya. Her childhood friend. He schooled at the university of Lagos, in his third year already, studying accounting while she- no where near school walls.

    She stood awkwardly at the university’s entrance not daring to go in. She was anti-social not shy but socially awkward. She gnawed on her nails vigorously like a wood pecker. A group of boys stood adjacent her, gawking her, not bothering to keep it low key. She prayed silently for Kelvin to come out. She informed kelvin on her arrival but there was no sign of him. She frowned as one of the boys approached her, then the other followed, until all of them were slowly making their way towards her.

    Fortunately for her, Kelvin appeared like a Knight in shining armour, helping a damsel in distress. She heaved a sigh of relief as she briskly walked to Kelvin and away from the guys.

    “I hate you” she glared at her best friend, making him pout.

    “That’s not the way to greet your boyfriend, my love” kelvin Soya grinned, engulfing Genevieve in a tight hug, permanently shooing the guys away. She smiled, acknowledging his intentions.

    “I missed you Genny” he declared honestly.

    “Me too” she replied solemnly, visibly relaxed under the comforting warmth of his embrace. Kelvin ears jerked up at the way she sounded. Genevieve wasn’t anyone who reacted to things so easily. barely two months they saw each other but crying was uncalled for. He knew it wasn’t just about missing him but something else, something huge.

    “Come on, let’s go eat. My treat” Kelvin offered whilst Genevieve nodded in agreement.

    * *

    “So, any girlfriends lately? Genevieve inspected, wriggling her brows teasingly.

    “sweetheart, you’re the only one on my mind. I don’t even mind, loving you” he joked, mimicking a famous Nigerian song.

    “You wish” Genevieve laughed, hitting him on the chest.

    Few seconds later. “I hate him” she whispered softly, if Kelvin wasn’t paying attention he would have missed it.

    “Who?” he looked puzzled.

    “My boss” she replied coldly then, continuously shook her head “you know what? Forget I said anything” she sighed, scooping her ice cream. She visibly relaxed as the cold cream melted on her tongue, wanting every aspect of her life to be as sweet as the vanilla sundae.

    “You know I hate it when you bring up an issue then abruptly refuse to tell me” Kelvin groaned unhappily.

    “You wouldn’t under-”

    “Hey! It’s something big, you came down here all of a sudden. So it’s blindingly serious, Genevieve. I’m a great listener and you know it”

    Genevieve sighed in defeat, he was her best friend after all and they made a pact never to hide secrets from each other. She explained vividly to Kelvin starting from the bargain to yesterday’s event, skipping no part.

    “Honestly, no bachelor in their right senses would work with you without being attracted. Do you know how many times I had to do cold showers” Kelvin laughed. He wasn’t as attracted to her as before. He was previously like a lost puppy, following the first human it encountered.

    Genevieve rolled out her eyes “he isn’t attracted to me Kelvin-”

    “I am”

    “Kelvin, be serious. I came all the way for an advice”

    “So you came just for an advice not because you missed me. Oh, I feel loved” he said sarcastically.

    “Kelvin!!”

    “Geez!” He glanced around the garden, wondering if anyone heard her scream but negative. “Why would he kiss you if he weren’t attracted?”

    “I honestly don’t know, Kev”

    “Now the question here is. Are you?”

    Genevieve thought for a second. Her boss looked like an Abercrombie model. She knew that. But like was out of the question, she couldn’t possibly fall for a demon in office clothes. To hell with the good looks.

    “Eew no. He’s terrifying, heartless, evil, mean, arrogant, a spoiled brat-”
    “Your eyes are twinkling even when you’re being bitchy” Kelvin sounded surprised as he gave her a mischievous glare.

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I hate him” she uttered through clenched teeth.

    “So the kiss?”

    She furrowed her brows and slowly asked “what about the kiss?”

    “How did it make you feel?” a grin chugged on his face.

    “I don’t know, when did you turn into a love expert?”

    “The minute you came here for an advice” he declared triumphantly, giving her a subtle bow.

    “Good answer. I don’t like him okay? and never will”

    “I give you two weeks to fall for him, wanna bet?”

    “It’s so on” she clasped his palm as they made the bet.

    * *

    Genevieve arrived at her home, happy that the discussion with Kelvin was finally over.

    “Pttf, like my foot” she hissed, slowly hitting at the door. Her little brother. Joel, came running to her, she lifted him up, pecking his lips briefly.

    “Welcome, Aunty Genevieve, now you get the bear hug” Joel smiled, embracing her in a bone crushing hug. She wrinkled her forehead. The only reason Joel would wanna give her a bear hug. Was if she got two cakes.

    “glad you liked it”

    “The chocolate cake tasted so great!” He yelled happily.

    She stifled, chocolate cake? But She got a vanilla. Did the lady wrap up two different flavours? But she carried it herself.

    “What do you mean chocolate?”

    “You’re so forgetful Aunty Genevieve. A lady came to deliver the second one right after mum found the first laying in the fridge. They are right on the dining table”

    She walked, still carrying Joel and proceeded to the dinning table since it was close to the entrance.

    She gasped slightly, seeing two boxes of cake. She stared at the unfamiliar chocolate cake, already half eaten. she noticed a fluorescent lavender note stuck to the side, which read ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU’

    She grinned broadly when she noticed a logo on it, it was the Cokers’ logo. A crown. She knew It was from Daniel, why would he send her a cake? She wondered. So he did have a conscience after all. She nodded, pinching an edible part and bringing it to her lips. It was sweet, just like his…

    “Ahh, I totally forgot” Joel frowned, hitting his head. Genevieve studied her brother.

    “What is it Joel?”

    “Come closer” Joel whispered, urging her to move forward with his tiny fingers, she succumbed to his order.

    “I mean real close” he whispered again, pursing his lips. She rolled her eyes, almost now shoving her face in his.

    “Come on, Aunty Genevieve. Closer” he nagged, Genevieve sighed. His lips now in her ears. As he let out air, it fanned her ears, making her giggle.

    “A man is in there, shh” Joel said slowly into Genevieve’s ear and she fleeted back, her knees shaky. She hurriedly put Joel down, afraid her legs might surrender, making the two of them fall harshly on the bluish-green carpet. All the colours seemed to have drained from her skin, with her eyes wide. She slowing marched to the sitting room. Genevieve Miller gasped, seeing a man in a black tuxedo, seated on the couch. Her hands shook as she approached him.

    Was it Daniel?

    Chapter 10
    Chapter title: in which she sees him again 2

    Was it Daniel?
    The man whirled around, making her breath hitch. Then her racing heart relaxed. She heaved a sigh of relief but a tinge of disappointment billowed through her instead.

    “You look a little disappointed to see me, were you expecting someone else?” Gabriel inquired, searching her sombre eyes. She shook her head, strolling towards him.

    “No, no. I’m a little shocked to see you Gabriel. What are you doing here?” she asked, trying to make her voice as welcoming as possible.

    “Well, I thought I should pay you a visit. Or is this a wrong time?”

    “No, no. It’s fine” she smiled.

    “Good, I like fine” his eyes glittered as he chuckled.

    “But how did you get here? I don’t remember letting you in yesterday”

    “Well-” he scratched his dark hair awkwardly “-I wanted to pay you a visit like I said, I didn’t actually know your house but I saw your sister at the end of your street. You guys look so much alike, I must add. It wasn’t hard figuring you were related. So, I followed her here” he explained. Michelle was her doppelganger in real life. The only difference was that Genevieve was the mature one both in facials and figure.

    “Fair enough” she nodded in confirmation.

    “Er. Well you see, it’s still bright outside and I wanted us to. Hmm, you know- take you to a new restaurant down town. So, What do you say?” He peered at her, anxiously waiting for an answer.

    Genevieve blinked, was he asking her on a date?

    “Yeah, let’s go with that” Gabriel laughed nervously, making Genevieve realise that she said it out loud. She blushed, answering “would love to”

    She had the right to have fun and she was going to stop acting like a caveman. Gabriel was a nice guy even if she knew him barely a day. She knew he couldn’t possibly hurt her. This was her first ever date. She was courted by many guys but didn’t believe in the whole ‘teenage romance’ and always declined the advances, but this time, it was different. She was curious to be in one.

    “Wait here, I need to go change” she pointed to the couch then weaved her way to her room.

    Genevieve stared at her impeccable reflection in the mirror. She was wearing a summer dress which had a grey stripe design and folded Bardot neckline with rib off shoulder. It clung to her waist and stopped just above her knees which fits her like a second skin, just perfectly well- like it was made just for. She wasn’t one who handled brushes, but she did her best, adding just the black eyeliner and mascara, she finished it off with a red lipstick which stood out the most and complemented her caramel skin. Her braids parked in a high ponytail, giving her neck and face quite the view. She frowned at her exposed neck then decided to add her silver interlink circle choker. She got in her silver pumps pairing it with a silver clutch. She laughed, taking silly self pics and exhaled walking to the sitting room, she fiddled with her clutch, feeling nervous suddenly.

    Gabriel stood up “finally you-”

    He was cut short by his own abrupt silence. His eyes danced around Genevieve, the dress, her face, her endless legs then her face again. It looked like his eyes were about to bulge out of it’s sockets, drinking the beauty standing in front of him.

    “Shall we” she offered, breaking the awkward silence.

    “Er, yes” he took her hand.

    “Mich, I’ll be home soon” she yelled as Gabriel led her to his car.

    * *

    Gabriel killed the engine. He jogged over to the passenger’s side to open the car door for Genevieve. What a gentleman! She smiled, getting out. He offered his palm, she nodded dropping hers in his. With their entwined fingers. They sauntered straight to a big building with the words ‘Take a seat’ blazoned across it. Genevieve gasped, staring at the five star restaurant. She had been to different exquisite restaurants but this was the top notch.

    They halted at the entrance, Gabriel speaking to the hostess while she glanced around, eyes feasting on the top priced restaurant. A concierge came up and directed them to their table which was located at the far end of the room close to huge bay windows.

    He pulled out a chair for her, waiting for her to get seated until he resumed his. She smiled in gratitude. A waiter came up, handing them their menus, the young waiter smiled, saying “I’ll be back shortly”

    Genevieve stared at the menu, eyes dancing in mirth, she was always indecisive when it comes to food.

    “So what do you want?” Gabriel turned to Genevieve.

    “Surprise me”

    He chuckled just as the waiter came to take their orders.

    “So, while we wait, let’s get to know each other better, ask me anything you want to know about me”

    “Okay-” she stared at the fine young man. “-what do you do?” She inquired, crossing her legs.

    “I’m a surgeon” he replied, staring directly in her eyes to see it widen in amazement.

    “It’s so nice” then she cringed “-but with the whole blood and needles I could barely last a minute in there” she gagged, not remembering the last time she went to the hospital or took shots.

    “Hmm, that’s my specialty. Treating and helping people” he chuckled at Genevieve’s distaste.

    “That explains why you came to my aid yesterday”

    “Yeah, maybe more” he laughed, making Genevieve furrow her brow. He coughed, rushing the words “what do you do?”

    “Well, I work for Coker Enterprise”

    “As what?”

    She thought if she should tell him, but what was the harm in that?

    “Well, the CEO’s Personal Assistant”

    “That’s nice”

    Hell if you ask me. She whispered silently to herself.

    The waiter came in afterwords, bringing their food. She smiled ingratitude and Gabriel released a thank you. She waited patiently for Gabriel to resume his before she did. She tore her gaze from the besotted look of her date, long enough to glance around. She suddenly froze, eyes wide as Mercy Johnson’s bosoms, mouth falling open in dismay, releasing a soft gasp.

    * *

    Daniel rolled his eyes at the lame commentaries Jenny, his date was making. She was staring at the menu, giggling all the way.
    ‘Take a seat’ was one of the restaurants his company owned but his younger brother. Martins, managed it. Martins needed responsibility before taking over some of the businesses in the words of their father. Daniel looked at the hot Nigerian model, she pouted staring at one of the local dishes, then shook her head. Daniel looked like he would be anywhere but there. His eyes wandered around like he was searching for a specific human. A woman gained his interest, she was even staring. she looked familiar.
    Genevieve! It dawned on him. He blinked twice, thinking he was hallucinating but she didn’t erode. He met her eyes, capturing it like it’s his own. He lips rose into a lop-sided smile as her eyes widened in shock. It felt like the world suddenly came to a halt, comprising of just the two of them. An unidentified intensiveness surged through his entire body. Her face flawless, the dress would look better it it were on the flood of his room. He thought. He was surprised at how beautiful she turned out to be. Then his gaze fell to an intruder seated beside her, oblivious to the tension. He turned away quickly as a flare of possessiveness flared in him.

    Genevieve’s hands shook as she finally averted her eyes from his. Suddenly feeling Unclad under his hard gaze. All giddiness she hoped for the night swallowed by the Big Fish all because of Daniel Coker. What is he doing here? She wondered. Her nonplussed look turned into an icy cold glare when she looked up, seeing him wear a smirk. She scoffed, facing Gabriel who had a worried expression drawn across his face. She felt guilty for letting Daniel get to her.

    “Are you alright? We could order something else”

    “Please no” she forced out a weak smile. “It’s perfect”

    Nothing was going to spoil her night. Gabriel nodded eyeing her skeptically.

    She couldn’t help but stare at Daniel, he was still watching her with a look she couldn’t decipher. She shivered under her skin, making Gabriel clasp her left palm and she smiled. She risked a glance at Daniel again, he wasn’t staring at her anymore. He was kissing his date silly, shoving his face in hers.

    “Are you sure you are alright? We could do this some other time” Gabriel said, shifting his gaze to the cloying PDA of the couple adjacent them.

    “No, please no. I just need to- I need to cool off” she managed to say, getting up and heading to the restroom even if she didn’t exactly know where it was, leaving a puzzled Gabriel behind.

    Daniel abruptly released his lips from Jenny making her whine. He thought kissing Jenny would be a distraction but it wasn’t. Jenny was shocked at first when he did but she returned it nevertheless. He looked out the window, he couldn’t think straight. Seeing Genevieve added to his distress. How her soft lips felt so warm against his, her taste. Damn! She tasted so good. He shouldn’t be giddy for his PA, he definitely shouldn’t be, but who was the guy with her? He asked himself. Was it the same man from yesterday? He groaned internally. Her love life was none of his business. He should stay out of it. He thought. Yesterday’s kiss was only a mistake. No repetition, done, buried, disposed. Trashed.

    Genevieve finally got to the ladies’ room after few directions from people. She sighed, staring at her pale reflection in the mirror. She turned on the tap, sprinkling cold water on her face then took a handkerchief from her clutch and dabbed her face dry.

    Inhale the positive

    Exhale the negative.

    She repeated then walked out, moving slowly to her seat but her eyes grew wide as she saw Daniel and her date laughing hysterically.

    You can now order for your Igala clothes at a more affordable rate…*

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  7. Chapter 6
    Chapter title: in which she fights back.

    “She’s a keeper, Mr. Coker” Mr. Ajayi commented, giving Daniel a friendly pat on the back.

    Daniel nodded lost in his fascination that was her. How did she know so much about the new brand? so she had a brain after all or maybe she’s an alcoholic. His mind forayed Genevieve getting drunk in a bar and wearing indecent clothes. He shuddered at the thought. He was unaware that all the board members took their leave already.

    “Sir, are you alright? You zoned out” Genevieve looked worried and confused, raising a brow discreetly. He shook his head, a thought coming to mind. He knew she was expecting a positive commentary regarding her contribution but he wasn’t going to give in just easily.

    “You didn’t tell me you were an alcoholic Genevieve” he gave a conceited, irritatingly smug. He watched her gamut of sudden negative emotions displayed on her facials. Her chagrin expression was definitely one to save forever.

    “I’m not sir” she replied in disbelief and exasperation as they strolled to his office.

    * *

    How can he say that to me? she thought. An alcoholic. Seriously?

    She was about to tell him she worked for his company as a BA few weeks ago but his voice interrupted her.

    “It’s nice to actually know that you find pleasure drinking our beers”

    “Sir i-”

    “No need to explain yourself Genevieve, I have a lot of work to do. I’ll call you if I need your assistance” he dismissed her swifty and took his seat. Genevieve rolled her dark brown eyes as she came out of the office, spotting Sofia.

    “You! didn’t you learn your lesson the other day? What are you still doing here?” Sofia sneered, eyeing Genevieve.

    “I’m working if you could excuse me” Genevieve lips rose into a lop-sided smile, making sure to cross her legs over the other as she sat on her chair. She was aware that Sofia’s eyes were almost as wide as China, following Genevieve’s every movement. Sofia was dumbfounded but she soon recovered and huffed going into the CEO’s office.

    * *

    “Sir, the documents you asked to produce. I made sure to add the company’s logo on each paper”

    Daniel heard Sofia say. He motioned to his desk and she dropped it, bending over and knowingly exposing her cleavage to his view but he didn’t even spare to give her a glance.

    “Sir” Sofia voiced out, trying to get his eyes fixed on her boobs. But his eyes remained rooted to his screen as he replied with a “yes?”

    “You look tired sir, can I bring a cup of coffee to help lessen your stress?” she offered, eyeing him coquettishly.

    He shook his head “Genevieve will get it”
    She groaned internally, straightening up.

    “Can I help you with anything else sir?” she smiled, batting her false eyelashes. Daniel looked up from his laptop. Oblivious to her intentions. He shook his head muttering a ‘thank you’

    “But sir-”

    “I said I don’t need your help Sofia, I have a PA who does that, now go back to work and get Genevieve!” He roared, visibly maddened at her persistence. She squirmed and scurried out of his office like a weeping magpie.

    Daniel put his head on his table, frustrated. His father just had to pass the company’s ownership to him even before he retired. He should be out with his friends screwing hot models but here he was.

    Without his PA telling him, he knew he had meetings to attend to since they were now refurbishing the ‘Spirax’ beer’s content. He suddenly felt a hand lightly touch him like soft feather fanning his fingers. He brought his head up and stared at Genevieve, she was suddenly invading his thoughts. He looked at the anxiety in her eyes that made him wonder how it would look like if she was happy. Her fulls lips and tender face like an angel, taking away his sorrows and drowning them with fulfilled wishes and betterments. His mind suddenly displayed their
    Writhing bodies atop silk sheets. He shook his head, returning from erotic land. He peered at her lips, it moved but it didn’t make out words until he finally heard her clearly.

    “Sir, is everything alright?”

    He shook his head, angry at himself for sinking so low, thinking of his PA in a shameless way. He needed distraction- something to erode those thoughts. He cleared his throat, getting up.

    “When I said I didn’t want you dressing like a kid, I didn’t mean you should dress like a stripper instead, trying to seduce me. Are you?” he accused, facing her with a bland expression drawn across his face. Genevieve was shocked to the maximum her brain discarding all forms of serenity.

    “What?!” But he didn’t complain about the clothes earlier so why now?. Firstly, he called her clothes inappropriate and now he called her a stripper out of all names. To hell with the job. She was going to put him in his place and if he wanted to fire her he could go ahead or maybe not she’d prefer.
    “You heard me”

    “With all due respect sir, I’ve never tried to impress anyone in my entire life, so why should I start now? You barely know me sir and you- you accuse me of this!!”

    “How dare you raise your voice at me-” he started but she wasn’t going to give him a chance to speak. The tables turned.

    “How dare you accuse me of seducing you. Why would i wanna- Look, look at this. It’s almost getting to my ankles” she tugged at the hem of her grey skirt. “My shirt isn’t even see through compared to Sofia’s”
    she paused, advancing and stopped in front of him. He towered over her and she thought she was tall. She was a 5’9 but she seemed like a 5’4 in front of his 6’3 nonsense. She stared directly in his black eyes, all emotions drained from her face. The fragile dam she built around her temper, bursting at his utterance of the word ‘stripper’ and she continued.

    “Now I know you clearly don’t know the meaning of a stripper. If I wanted to be one. I would be blinking rich by now but no- I chose to work instead, never depending on anyone. I-i” she choked, her eyes glistening with tears. She wiped it out furiously. She wouldn’t let him have the satisfaction of seeing her weak.

    “I don’t care what happens from here but I know that one day everything will be alright with me but you?” She looked at him in irritation then whirled around, walking away.

    Daniel stood there dumbfounded, a wave of anger surged through him as he stared at the door. No one ever spoked to him in that manner. He knew he hit home when he called her a stripper but he didn’t know she was a ticking bomb ready to explode in just a contact. Many thoughts raced through his mind leaving him in a pile of frustration. He couldn’t fire her, he knew he couldn’t. The board loved her and there was nothing he could do about it. No one was bold enough to raise their voice here but she did in a blink of an eye. He needed to sit and he did, he clenched his jaw. It was his fault for pushing the button he knew that but he never knew the surprises that came with doing that minuscule act. And he thought he needed to go for anger management class but she certainly did.

    Genevieve sighed, sitting on her office chair, she knew she would be fired anytime soon, she saw it coming though. Speaking to the boss in such a despicable manner. Who was she? his mother? She let out a harsh breath as the voice of the boss sounded through the intercom.

    “If Mr. Morris comes just hand him the duplicated copy. No guests needed”

    * *
    “Why would you talk to your boss like that now eh Genevieve. You shouldn’t have” Mrs Miller disputed “what if he decides to fire you”

    “Mum, he called me a stripper and it’s not my fault I let anger blind my vision. If he decides to fire me then I guess it wasn’t God’s plan from the beginning” Genevieve shrugged, she wasn’t going to feel guilty for opening her boss’s eyes to the truth. He totally deserved it all.

    “But you need to be careful my child. He has power and the authority remember?”

    “I know mum, I know” Genevieve sighed exasperatedly as she got up from the couch, muttering a “goodnight mum” before going into her room and jumping on her bed. She looked at the ceiling unable to flutter her eyes shot. She needed the pay. She couldn’t help but wish he wouldn’t strip her off her job the next day if he did, it meant that she had to start over again, going online searching for jobs.

    Her iPhone beamed beside her and she snatched it from the bed. She stared at the phone, trying so hard to stop her beating heart. It felt as if it was going to escape from her ribcage. It was a message from Daniel. Her mum hasn’t seen the phone yet, she was scared, what was her Mum going to say about the expensive phone.

    Her fingers shook, apprehension surged through her as she opened the message. Was this how he was going to dismiss her? Through a text?

    Daniel: Tomorrow at 8 sharp, no excuses.

    She sighed in relief, closing her eyes.
    ***************************************************************************

    Chapter 7
    Chapter title: When he hits rock bottom.

    It’s been a month since Genevieve started working for the company. And Daniel Coker wasn’t subtle on making her days a living hell but the huge salary was all she could think of.

    Everyone was shocked seeing her last a month, they expected her to runoff or probably get fired by the boss. She was still there, which made the headlines in their own worlds. Tope even went ahead, couldn’t stifle her curiosity anymore.

    “It’s been a month and you’re still here Genevieve, how do you do it now?”

    Genevieve simply gave a humorous chuckle “you really don’t wanna know. But I thought he had a PA before me and she didn’t run off”

    “Who told you that?” Tope laughed hysterically, trying to even her breath. Genevieve frowned, wondering if she wore a cartoon character.

    “Mr. Augustine of course, he said she went on a maternity leave” Genevieve eyed Tope as she settled on her chair. Then Tope followed.

    “I doubt that. I don’t think that’s the reason”

    “But she was your coworker, didn’t you see her tummy?”

    Tope gave her a blank look “Tesha always look like she’s expecting a child”

    “What are you trying to say Tope” Genevieve snickered, holding her chest.

    “I-its L-like she, she. Oh my gosh! She has the whole uni- universe in her stomach. Genevieve stop, you’re killing me here” Tope laughed looking at Genevieve who had slumped on the tiled ground, curled up and laughing like a loon.

    “Tope I’m dead. You killed me!” Genevieve yelled clutching her stomach. The hilarity was so tense that her stomach ached “ah, my stomach!”

    “Genevieve, quit acting like a child joor, get up na. I will-” Tope stopped gaping at a figure behind Genevieve’s chair in alarm. Genevieve noticed Tope’s sudden silence. She knew who it was. It was so embarrassing, seeing her literally on the floor. She sighed, getting up.

    “Sir, i-” she started.

    “Get me my coffee” Daniel said briskly and walked in his office. Tope stared at Genevieve, eyebrows rose in puzzlement. But Genevieve only shrugged. She was too familiar with Mr. Coker already.

    * *

    It was already 8pm and it was obvious to a blind man that it was about to rain, a torrential pour. The lightening sounds were prominent enough to scare the bogey man. Genevieve scurried for the files, shuffling them in a haste. It was her mum’s birthday and she promised to get her a cake. She sighted Daniel coming out of his office and she got up, going to him.

    “Sir, I wanted to ask if I could leave early today since I’ve completed the files and no other schedules till tomorrow” she pleaded.

    “I’m not done with you yet. So I’m sorry, you can’t” he spoke blankly, heading to the lift, she exhaled, following him.

    “Sir please, just this once. It’s my mum’s birthday and I promised to get her something. please”

    “I thought I heard myself say no” he snapped, clicking his tongue.

    “Sir-”

    “Go to my office, get those files on the table, the ones in a brown binder, review them and make necessary corrections” he ordered and got in the lift. She watched as the door closed, tears streaming down her eyes. She wiped them out furiously. She could do this, just review them and that’s it. A piece of cake, she fortified herself before entering into his office but slumped on the ground, her eyes scanning a heap of papers disarranged, she let out a soft cry as she got on her feet, taking the documents to her office and lazily dropping them on the table with a harsh sigh. How could someone be this ruthless? she thought. She pleaded with him to let her go but he blatantly refused, adding more salt to her wounds. She was done for. How would she get them done without spending the whole night here.

    It was 10:30 and she was just half way done. She saw Daniel go into his office, without sparing her a glance. She sighed, bringing her head to her desk and she couldn’t stop the tears from flooding her face. She promised her mum she was going to buy a cake this year. She didn’t know that she was fully crying and the harsh weather wasn’t helping.

    “Genevieve” she heard Daniel say, she jolted in her seat, bringing her very unappealing face in front of him. She blinked away the tears blinding her vision and wiped her nose in the process.

    “I begged you sir, look, I can’t even go home because of the rain” she whimpered, getting up.

    “Genevieve” he fixed his eyes on her, saying softly, almost like a whisper. And was slowly making his way to her desk.

    “How could someone be this arrogant? I asked just to go home earlier than before but you gave me more documents to review. You treat me like an animal!” she snarled, making sure to use her hands for effect. How would she explain to her siblings that her boss trapped her with essence work. They wouldn’t understand. Especially little Joel. They were all ecstatic when they heard she was buying a cake but now He ruined it all.

    “Genevieve” he whispered again. His black eyes clouded with a passion she couldn’t decipher.

    “Why do you hate me this much? How can anyone be this ruthless, mean, self-centered, selfish, despica-” she was cut short by a punishing kiss, keeping her utterances mute. It was soft at the same time seeking and demanding. Her lips were numb and her eyes wide until it slowly began to flutter close as if on reflex. She visibly relaxed under his touch, letting the fire consume her totally, he smiled, deepening the kiss but as she felt his tongue brush her lips, demanding her to open up. she jolted back to reality, pushing his hard clothed chest back. Her brain fully alert and returned from ecstasy.

    Her eyes bristled with rage and she gave him a hard slap.”How dare you! You- aargh!” she yelled, wiping her mouth vigorously to get rid of his scent but it was nearly impossible.

    She picked up her bag and went straight to the lift. Her brain in overdrive. Daniel stood there gob-smacked, saying nothing. She got out of the gargantuan building, her hatred for Daniel increased to a whole new level. He stole her first kiss, something she willingly kept for her Mr. Right. She knew it was silly, waiting on prince charming under a full lit gazebo but she had her own fair chance of having a fairy tale Disney love romance.

    “Madam Genevieve, ahh even your name sef carry weight. See figure, eewo! wetin dem dey call that pageant something? Eh, eh, MBGN. e fit you wella” Okon beamed, the security guard. He was on a night duty, Genevieve was very fond of him, always complimenting her looks and calling her a celebrity but this wasn’t the right time. But nevertheless, she forced out a pale smile, nodding in acknowledgement.

    “Chai! See teeth, madam you sure say you no be model? You con disguise yourself for here?” He continued his rusty banter, Genevieve knew she couldn’t possibly put all her rage on him, so she politely said a ‘thank you’

    “Wetin con make you stay this late na? all employees don go already. E no safe here. Wait, make I go look for cab for you” he offered but she retracted him.

    “Thanks Okon, I’ll do that myself, you know you are on duty right now” she reminded.

    “True o me sef don forget, oya take umbrella, you know say I no wan let your hair soak water” Okon laughed, handing her the company’s owned umbrella previously resting on his knees.

    “Thanks Okon this will do” she again feigned a smile, moving towards the streets, making sure to glance back if there was a bus heading her way. She made silent prayers, requesting God to get her home safely that she was going to give a seed if HE does.
    She noticed a vehicle slowing running down the road, it’s headlights, inducing fear in her. She trudged faster, clasping her hands in prayer but the car seemed to increase in it’s pace. Then she stopped and turned back, no sign of Okon. The car stopped too, sauntering it’s window in the process. Then a manly head came into view.

    Genevieve heartbeat increased rapidly. Was she about to get kidnapped? She thought. Her mum didn’t have anything to offer kidnappers or maybe they were ritualist in there. She gasped, but the stranger made no effort in coming out of the vehicle. He only opened his mouth, making out words.

    “Hey, what are you doing alone, walking all by yourself? I’ve been watching you for a while now” the stranger spoke and she panicked, making no attempt to talk. If she dies, she would make sure her ghost haunts Daniel to oblivion.

    “Why don’t you hop in, let me give you a ride home” Genevieve’s eyes grew wide at the blatant nonsense.

    “No thank you. So that you can kidnap, rape or murder me for money” she hissed, hastening her speed. He followed, chuckling.

    “I’m not, believe me. If I were. I would have easily mauled you. Look around, no one’s watching. This area is secluded remember?”

    Genevieve gave him a blank expression. That’s what they always say. So cliché “thanks for offering, I love my life”

    “Who doesn’t? It’s really dark and a beautiful girl like you shouldn’t be seen walking this late”

    She was about giving him a negative reply when she heard Daniel yell out her name, she turned back, eyeing Daniel in all his evil glory, running towards her. She suddenly changed her mind and jogged over to the passenger’s seat, urging the stranger to open up and he did. She didn’t wait a spilt second as she scrunched her umbrella and slipped in then closed the door shut.

    “You said you wanted to help me out, now’s a good time” she yelled, her heart racing against her chest in an abnormal rate, he chuckled, stepping on the gas.

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  8. Chapter 5
    Chapter title: In which she earns his respect.

    “See this girl o, won’t you go to work today?” Mrs Miller forcefully peeled the floral quilted comforter off Genevieve. Genevieve unconsciously shook her legs, slightly irritated that her legs suddenly felt bare.

    “get up na Genevieve. It’s 7 o’clock already” Mrs Miller pointed out, smacking her daughter on the butt.

    Genevieve jerked up at the mention of the time, fully awake now. “Why didn’t you wake me up sooner. I am toast mum” she nagged, fidgeting for her towel.

    “You should be thankful I eventually did, else you’d still be in bed”

    “Where is that stupid towel?” Genevieve complained, ignoring her mum, she wondered why it was so difficult finding things when you needed it the most but when you didn’t, it would be laying everywhere like it suddenly duplicated. It was her boss’s fault. She thought, letting her spend her entire night, figuring out an outfit to wear in order not to ignite his anger.

    Daniel Coker scowled at his Rolex watch. “She is late!” He snarled, fingering beating a rhythm out of impatience. She eroded his self-control on her very first errand. He wondered why he didn’t fire her. It took him a lot of restraining- not to strip her off her job that very day.

    “What a chump, she couldn’t even write her own age without making a mess” he glared at the white plastered fluid on her bio-form. I should fire her he thought, but Mr. Augustine gave his word pertaining this topic and he came to the conclusion that she was going to prove herself worthy of working for his company or he was going to dismiss her “foolish woman!”

    He peered at the time again, he wouldn’t be surprised if she decided to quit her job after yesterday’s incidence. What a weeny who couldn’t handle the truth. Maybe he was a little too harsh.

    He remembered the first time he saw her two months ago but she didn’t see him. How……

    But what if she never comes back? He couldn’t help but wonder.

    Contrast to his thought, he heard silent knocks and he requested the person to come in. Genevieve entered into his office, her perfume, a subtle scent of jasmine indicated her presence. He looked up with wide eyes almost as saucers. He had to do a double take to make sure the person standing there was Genevieve. She wasn’t putting on those immature clothes he complained about. He stared at her, his eyes sweeping over the tight grey pencil skirt that hugged her glass-hour figure and a cream coloured shirt tucked neatly underneath her skirt. Damn! she had legs. Wrapped in black stilettos. She was barely on makeup yet she looked elegantly garnished- like put in a silver platter hot and ready. He exhaled, imagining hot steamy nights an unwanted thought he dismissed quickly. She was cute but definitely not his type and never would be. He did hot model-Actresses and not some old news.

    “You’re late” he reminded, a muscle working in his jaw. He victoriously smiled inwardly at his expertness in burying the erotic thought of her.

    “I’m so sorry sir..i-” she started but was cut short by him getting up and mooching towards her, she blenched, moving back, making a satisfying smirk creep it’s way unto his lips at her anxiety.

    “Didn’t you see the message I sent?” He asked, his eyes searching her tender face for an answer. She shook her head continuously unable to speak at the close proximity. Just one more step from him would make their bodies touch.

    “Mute are you? I rather you speak. Genevieve” he commanded, emphasizing every letter of her name. But she didn’t utter a word. He hissed, getting back to his desk. He brought out an iPhone pack from his drawer and straight it towards her. He could see her eyes almost plunging out of it’s sockets. She blinked rapidly and stared at the box in sheer shock.

    “Here, I knew it would definitely come in handy, well- my contact is already saved, don’t worry about the subscriptions. It’s been fully settled. I will take care of the rest charges also”. Daniel said blandly with a nonchalant expression drawn across his face.

    “I can’t accept this. It’s, it’s too much” she managed to croak out.

    “Who said you had an option? it’s strictly business. So here” he dropped the box on his table abruptly, typing away on his laptop. She slowly picked it up, bringing it to her chest.

    “Any meetings today?” Daniel brows arched in questioning.

    she nodded “the board meeting. Well, it starts….now” she declared, searching her notepad.

    Sophisticated people gathered around the conference table, staring at Mr. Ajayi. A member of the board meeting. Even in the Air-conditioning, sweat was still seen sluggishly cascading down his forehead. “There’s a decrease in the demand of our new Lager beer and it keeps deteriorating daily. What can be done to help enhance and promote our sales?” he explained the matters arising and took his seat.

    “I think we should make a more appealing bottle design, make it more eye-catching. You know it’s what attracts me to new beers” Mr. Bello. Another board member informed, laughing richly while tapping at his pot-belly in the process. It seemed that his dress shirt was apart to to rip apart due to too much weight.

    “That’s a good idea Mr. Bello, but any other suggestions please?” Daniel asked, flicking his eyes to the rest members.

    “Well you see, getting a new design would cost so much and all the previous profits were put in the hotels and restaurants recently constructed in Benin. So, we need to consider some factors before jumping into conclusions in order not to get bankrupt” Mr. Williams, a lanky man disputed, slightly irritated at Mr. Bello’s suggestion on re-designing the bottle but Mr. Bello couldn’t hear the last of it- because he got up suddenly, angry at the blatant dismissal of his idea.

    “Who the hell do you think are? Can you even compare what I’ve invested into this company to yours!” Mr. Bello yelled, bristling with rage.

    “This isn’t about competition Mr. Bello. It’s about the success of this organisation” Mr. Williams hissed, getting up too.

    “Gentlemen, we are all mature here. Why don’t you have your seats and let’s discuss this in a professional way” Mr. Augustine interjected, facing the two men who were seen, competing with their icy glares that could burn villages to sit and they did, huffing in disgust.
    Mr. Ajayi cleared his throat, facing the rest of the members “any other suggestions apart from Mr. Bello and Mr. Williams’ please. Anybody?”

    Everyone shrugged, shifting their gazes to each other. Genevieve looked up from her notepad in which she was scribbling the minutes in. She knew so much about the new beer. It was ‘spirax’ a brand in which she worked as a brand ambassador and she couldn’t stop the words from flying out of her mouth.

    “Can I say something please?” she asked shyly, she too was surprised at her words. Daniel jolt in his seat. What was she trying to do? He thought, was she getting back at him by publicly disgracing him here? He had to do something to thwart her contribution.

    “Genevieve! not now” he warned, sending her a signal to shut the hell up.

    “Mr. Coker, please let’s hear her out. Who knows, she might have something tangible to say after all” Mr. Ajayi countered, giving Genevieve a warm smile, Urging her to speak up.

    She stood up, anxiety nipping at the edge of her nerves. She suddenly regretted why she offered a statement. She was just a mere PA whose opinions wasn’t needed but she was already in the spotlight and there was no going back now.

    She smiled weakly “Good day everyone, well- as we all know, the new spirax lager beer has 2.0 percent of alcohol which is of the standard ingredients as we are familiar with. You see, we need to see things in the perspective of a consumer to be able to understand what they want and don’t want” she paused, scanning everyone. They all nodded, giving her a ‘go-on’.

    And she did “many of them complain about the taste. It lingers in their mouth for hours, making anybody notice they were currently in a bar compared to other competing beers. Others complain that it’s too strong, giving them blinding headaches after taking just few bottles which therefore looses their interests. It’s not just about the bottle design sir. It’s about the contents itself. That’s the problem” she finished, clearly giving out all the complains she acquired from customers while working as a BA in a bar.

    She hazarded a glance at Daniel but was shocked to see him elated. He was finally smiling at her! The members erupted in loud claps, everyone suddenly happy at the new-found solution to the problem facing them. It suddenly dawned on them, fast like a moving truck. They were beating around the bush the whole time. Not digging in. She never thought the little activation job she had could give her
    this much recognition. she knew then and there never to take anything for granted because you never know when you might need it or what’s waiting.

    Watch out for part6

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  9. Chapter 4
    Chapter title: … the storm

    “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!!!” Daniel Coker demanded, eyes suddenly fuming with rage.

    She gaped at the opened door in incredulity and shifted her gaze to him. She still couldn’t believe that he was right there.

    “I asked you a question, didn’t I?”

    “I’m S-sorry S-sir. No one W-was in here” she managed to utter. How can someone be this arrogant. She thought. Spoiled brat!
    He hissed, walking to his swivel chair. “Don’t just stand there like a statue, come arrange these”

    “Yes sir”

    She fought the urge to roll her eyes. As if she wasn’t just doing that.

    “And what are you wearing?” Daniel blurted out, eyeing her sombre office dress. She stared confusedly at her clothes, feeling abashed.

    “I beg your pardon?”

    “You what?” He gave a sarcastic laugh “I won’t have you dressing like a kid, if you must work here. You need appropriate clothes not old rags” he snapped, looking at her pale heels in distaste. She blazed up internally, her nerves trying to get a hold of her composure. How dare he say that! She blinked, diminishing her fortified anger. She needed her job.
    She nodded, muttering a “yes sir”

    He was the lion and she was the prey. He was the king of the jungle and she, the lowest rank of the cat family. The boss who gave orders and she the PA who must adhere to them or she could kiss her job goodbye.

    “Mr. Augustine told me you are good with words” Daniel inquired, holding out a file. She nodded in answer

    “Good. I need you to scrutinize these documents. Can you do that?”

    “Yes sir” she collected the file from his grasp and turned to leave his office quietly, rattled by his presence and she let out a sharp breath she didn’t know she was holding, settling on her office chair.

    “An animal that’s what he is”
    “Just because he wears the suit
    doesn’t make him the boss of me”
    But literally, he was. She continued to soliloquy, not bothered about her surroundings.

    “Oh my gosh! It’s you again. What are you doing here?..Genevieve right?” Tope, the lady who gave her a bright welcome on her first day here came over.

    Genevieve jolted in her seat, placing her hand on her chest in the process.

    “Oopps, sorry. But what are you even doing here?” Tope rose her brow, taking the seat in front of Genevieve.

    “Is that how to greet your fellow coworker?” Genevieve drew back her lips into a grin. pointing at her office ID. Tope covered her mouth with her hand, controlling her uncalled-for gasps.

    “You’re pulling my legs right?” Tope asked in disbelief. Genevieve nodded slowly “Wow, finally. Someone I can relate with now” Tope smiled then it faltered, making her pause for a brief second “wait, I came here to do something but I can’t just figure it out” Tope scratched her false hair, racking her brain for clues. Genevieve smiled. She too was like that. Very forgetful, one minute she’s in a place, the other minute she wonders why she suddenly came there or holding out a pencil but still nagging about her missing pencil even asking her mum and siblings about it too. Releasing a satisfying “Ahh” when it’s discovered in between her fingers.

    “Oh, I remember. the boss required these” Tope laughed hysterically, bringing the office flat files from underneath her armpit.

    “It sucks to be you” Genevieve shuddered, glowering at Daniel’s office door.

    “I know right, but it’s you I pity the most though”

    “Thanks for the reminder” Genevieve drawled, rolling her eyes.

    “Why don’t we talk over lunch?..don’t want to ignite the rage of Mr. Coker. Do we?” Tope sniggered, matching to the door. Genevieve couldn’t help but watch her over her shoulder as she inhaled and exhaled. Probably preparing herself for the worst. Genevieve thought. Few seconds later, the door ate up Tope, leaving Genevieve with her towering stash of documents to review.

    * *

    “He’s vicious Tope, I hate him. You should have seen how he insulted my clothes” Genevieve hissed, her mind bristling with the memory.

    “Shh. You’re just exaggerating” Tope carefully scanned her surrounding then turned her gaze back to Genevieve. “But there’s nothing wrong with the dress now”

    “Tell that to him” Genevieve snapped, scooping her jollof rice and bringing it to her mouth. When she was satisfied with the amount of chewing, she swallowed “what do you think is wrong with him?”

    “Me I don’t know o. He’s always been like that and it increased especially when his dad made him CEO. I guess it also has something to do with Melissa James. You know her right? Name rings a bell?” Tope asked Picking at her dodo (fried plantain).

    Genevieve gave her a blank stare. “Who is she?”

    “You’re kidding me right? Melissa James. The model-Actress?”

    “I’ve got nothing, Tope”

    “How can you not know her. She’s kind of famous you know”

    Genevieve shook her head, if it was an Author she would have known without thinking. But she knew must celebrities. Maybe the Melissa wasn’t that famous. Genevieve concluded. A B-list celebrity perhaps?

    “Anyway, I heard he caught her cheating on him with his friend. What a bitch” Tope huffed. Genevieve couldn’t help but wonder why a girl would cheat on him. Despite his arrogant nature. He was beyond hot and rich to add, what was she possibly searching for? Probably a less arrogant lad.

    “I take it you don’t like her” Genevieve laughed, bringing the bottle of coke to her lips.

    “You guessed well my friend. I thought that she was the one though”

    “The one? What do you mean?” Genevieve rose her eyebrow, suddenly piqued.

    “You know, Mr. Daniel changes hot models almost every week and he actually stuck with Melissa for almost close to two months. Maybe if she didn’t cheat, they would probably still be together. Now that’s a record breaker”

    “And she’s the highest he has been with. Wow! I’m sorry to say this, but your boss is a man LovePeddler” Genevieve cringed at the thought of him going to bars, smooching and making out with random girls.

    “Our boss” Tope corrected.

    “Yeah, whatever”

    “You know when you insulted Sofia yesterday. You should have seen her face, finally meeting her match”

    Genevieve sighed deeply “I didn’t mean to- but she pushed the button”

    “She deserved it joor. You and I are going to be buds. So happy you work here now”

    “No offence, but I can’t say the same. You know the boss” Genevieve laughed.

    “Fine then, let’s make a toast” Tope beamed, lifting her bottle of Pepsi.

    “To what?”

    “I would have said to your new job but you know..so let’s just say to life”

    “That’s better” Genevieve agreed, making a toast. As the bottles clicked she couldn’t help but wonder if she was toasting to her life or death.

    Her first day wasn’t all so bad as she anticipated. Just his comments about her clothes. Order than that, it was strictly business.
    She stopped at a boutique. It was her mum’s friend shop, so discount was sure. She needed office clothes,
    appropriate clothes not old rags. in the words of Mr. Daniel. She hissed, entering into the shop. She didn’t care if she spent all the money she had just to prove herself in the sight of the boss. She needed respect and she must definitely get it tomorrow.

    Whether the devil likes it or not.

    To be continued….

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  10. Chapter 3

    Chapter title: The calm before…

    “I will put you through since you don’t have any experiences here. But believe me, it’s easy. I need you to start work tomorrow, I will handle everything today. The necessary materials will be given to you tomorrow and a tour, So you can get accustomed with every nook and cranny here. 7am sharp, no African time” Mr. Augustine winked then brought out a file containing papers. He stretched it forth to Genevieve.

    “Here, fill in your details. I will send a copy to the boss now” he explained, diminishing her curiosity on the papers.

    Few minutes later, she handed it back to him “any other thing I should know?” She inquired, getting up from her seat. She did a quick stretch, trying to wake up her legs.

    “Ha, yes. Don’t mention your age to the boss” Mr. Augustine warned, viewing her biodata form.
    “And why’s that?” She queried, curiosity lacing in her tone.

    “Trust me, he doesn’t want to know that his PA is actually twenty. He likes to work with- you know, mature minds. So let’s extend it to a twenty-three” he chuckled, bringing out a correction fluid from his drawer and handing it over.

    Genevieve rolled her eyes. “Remind me again why I took this job?” She said sarcastically, splattering the fluid over the surface of the paper and writing her false age with her not so clean handwriting. It looked like a cargo war in there.

    “Having that said, can I go now?” She dropped the documents on his table and Mr. Augustine scrutinized them, for any other implications.

    “I guess you can go now Ms. Miller, see you at work tomorrow” his tone became brisk and business-like. He wasn’t only doing her a favour but himself too, he knew better than to evoke the wroth of his boss.

    She headed straight for the door but paused and turned back, saying “you know, I never got the CEO’s name?”

    Mr. Augustine smiled, it was the first time he gave a genuine one. The layers of his eyes wrinkled in astonishment and it suddenly reminded her of her father.

    “Daniel. Daniel Coker”

    she left the building repeating the name over and over again.

    * *

    She made pit-stops on her way home, whistling out a rhythm only she could understand. She was so ecstatic that she realized she needed to share it with her family. she halted at her Mum’s shop, feigning dismay. She walked into her Mum’s little supermarket, bringing her head down. Mrs Miller noticed her daughter’s sad presence, she dropped her store record and stood up from her chair, stalking to Genevieve.

    “Yes, Thanks for shopping here. Do have a wonderful day” Mrs Miller politely dismissed a buyer, all attention now drawn to her daughter.

    “Those good for nothing people, how bad was it?” Mrs Miller asked not hiding her rage. She settled beside her daughter and scanned Genevieve’s face.

    Genevieve went dumb, refusing to speak. Mrs Miller huffed getting up, she paced her shop in a brisk pace “ahh, God of widow and fatherless will definitely punish them for me. HE must o ” Mrs Miller cried out, shaking her head in sorrow. She heard snickers coming from Genevieve and she turned to her daughter, sauntering her eyes.

    “Mum, they paid o ” Genevieve laughed at her Mum’s reaction, holding out the boxes of pizza and shawarma she bought few hours ago. Mrs Miller eyes grew wide at her daughter’s act but she couldn’t still hide the grin slowing creeping it’s way unto her lips.

    “They did?”

    “Better. Guess what? before you do, come sit” Genevieve offered, scooting close to the edge of the bench. Her Mother settled in then turned to her.

    “You know I’m not good at guessing
    na. Tell me”

    “Well, they tripled it Mum. Can you imagine?” Genevieve jumped on her seat excitedly. She couldn’t control her emotions anymore. Mum was family.

    “It’s a lie. Tell me it is” Mrs Miller gasped, her hands flying over her mouth in disbelief. It was too much for her to handle. She was unaware that her eyes were tearing up now out of profound joy.

    “It gets better Mum”

    “It does?” Mrs Miller choked, forcefully wiping her now running nose.

    “I was offered a job there” Genevieve answered, searching her Mum’s face. She was scared that her mother would have a heart attack, so she moved closer to her Mum, exploring her facials.

    “You….what?” Mrs Miller looked troubled. A wave of apprehension surged through her, settling at the pit of her stomach.

    “I was offer-”

    “I heard you the first time. I’m- I’m just confused”

    “I got a job Mum with a fixed salary too”

    “But how come?” Mrs Miller asked alarmed. All these in just a day? She trusted her daughter. She knew her daughter wasn’t capable of selling her dignity for material pleasures. Genevieve understood her, she held her Mum’s hand, Slightly caressing it with her thumb.

    “Look. I know what you’re possibly thinking. I don’t blame you though. We go to church everyday, praying for answered prayers and here’s one. Miracles still happen as long as Jesus lives or don’t you trust me?” Genevieve stared at her Mum, her eyes glistening with tears.

    Mrs Miller smiled, breaking the walls of doubt “of course I do Genevieve” she rubbed at her daughter’s cheeks. “I’m just so happy about it and didn’t know how to respond. Wait. Is that shawarma?” Mrs Miller peeked through the white signature paper bag and grinned broadly.

    “Yes Mum. Something to celebrate with. I bought enough for everyone” Genevieve laughed at her Mum’s enthusiasm and her ability to end a discussion at the sight of food. She too was like that.

    Genevieve spent two hours explaining vividly about the earlier events of the day that landed her the job. She spent so much time due to her Mum’s persistent questions. Her Mum was definitely ageing. she thought.

    * *
    As Mr. Augustine promised, he took her around the building not leaving a stone unturned. She was his responsibility, if she messed up, he did too. Collectively. Few employees were seen around since it was barely time for work.

    “You aren’t the one making his coffee. That’s why we have Mary. You just have to go pick it up and deliver it to Mr. Coker” he voiced, going away from the breaks-room. Genevieve nodded briefly, absorbing all the information.

    “Your office has already been fully equipped with the necessary materials needed for work-” he paused, a grin slowly sneaking it’s way onto his lips, making Genevieve squint her eyes at him.

    “Why are you staring at me like that?”

    “Your first assignment- well not your first,
    anyways..go deliver his coffee, it’s almost 9” he gave a sardonic smile, his eyes crinkling with mischief.

    * *

    Genevieve gave two silent knocks, staring at her hot pink coloured nails. But no response, she sighed, hitting it thrice this time but still no answers. She fiddled with the doorknob, pondering if it was nice to go in without his confirmation. She peered at the door intently, how each grains that made it up, staring back at her, inducing fear. She exhaled, slightly opening the door. She peeked inside but the room was clear of a bloke.

    Okay, maybe this was a bad idea. S he thought, she looked at his little coffee mug imprisoned in her palms, groaning then decided to abandon it on his oak table. documents were scattered around his desk. She fought the urge to arrange it.

    I’m his PA, aren’t I? Just a little shuffling couldn’t possibly hurt. She said to her self, but to her dismay, a voice interrupted.

    “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!!!”

    To be continued…

    Let’s hear Your thoughts on this guys tomorrow and also the solution to the home work. Thank you.

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  11. Chapter 2
    Chapter title: DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

    “Coffee. Office. Now” he ordered firmly and disappeared into the elevator doors. Who does he think he is to order her around? He was no boss of her. Was this the way he ordered his employees? Ruthless if you asked her.
    She was neither his personal assistant to go errands for him nor a worker here. Yes she didn’t work for him so that means that she could decline and retract her legs from moving.
    Perfect!
    Was it?

    She stirred her head to Tope to go carry out her boss’s task but Tope continuously shook her head against it and motioned to the stash of invoices surrounding her desk.

    Genevieve peered at Sofia, competing with their hostile glares. “Your boss needs you” Genevieve stated.

    “No, no. You put yourself into this mess by almost ripping this building apart. I need my money, I have rights” Sofia sniggered, mimicking Genevieve’s voice. But it was a failed and exaggerated attempt. Genevieve didn’t sound like a battered squirrel.

    “The boss doesn’t like to be kept waiting” Sofia added, snickering then strutted out of the room with the sound of her heels resonating.
    Such a bitch. Genevieve thought.

    Genevieve walked to an amused Mr. Augustine, a grin slither unto his lips, making Genevieve growl in disapproval. “This is a huge mistake, I’m not a worker here now” she groaned outwardly, she would never be forced to do something she loathed, not in this life. Not the next.

    “Why don’t you go on the little errand and we will talk about your payment over a hot coffee. perhaps?” His eyes twinkled with mischief as he finished. That was her weakness and she didn’t have a choice but to give in to the
    devil’s demands.

    She sighed exasperatedly in defeat. “Take this” he handed her a cup of freshly made coffee from a neighbouring desk that made her stomach churn. It was empty, she denied it of any food, just to make it to the location on time. Only if she knew…

    “It belongs to me, but the boss needs it” Mr. Augustine clarified and added “14th floor”

    “Fine” Genevieve bleated, collecting the cup and rolling her dark brown eyes. She got into the lift, punching the number. She did this all the time when her Dad was not dead, she would accompany him to his work place, so it wasn’t new to her. This time, she didn’t get irritated with the soft background music playing in the background. Ironically, she didn’t want it to stop. If it did, it meant that she would be walking into hell. Which is the CEO’s office. The devil in the
    suit.

    She sighed, getting out of the metal box. She spotted an empty desk. Shouldn’t there be a PA seated right there? She wondered but that wasn’t her mission to find out, she was going to give him his coffee and leave this terrifying building.
    She saw a door, no one had to tell her it was his office. She paused in front of the door. This was a nightmare she pleaded to be out of, she inhaled and exhaled sharply. Well, this is it!
    She gave two silent knocks and heard him say “enter”

    What was wrong with this dude? was he an alien or something? Giving one word answers. If he was one she wouldn’t be surprised, that would explain the hostility toward his workers. But were Aliens this appealing? She pushed back the strange thoughts at the back of her mind and bravely turned the doorknob and entered into her doom. She was hit with a strong, overpowering smell of his Cologne that filled the entire room and there he was, typing vigorously on his laptop not sparing to acknowledge her presence. She cleared her throat audibly in an attempt to get his attention but he wasn’t giving in. This was harder than she thought.

    “Your coffee sir” she tried again and swore that if he was some kind of Alien, she wouldn’t let go until he was taken to the ER. She was that tough.

    “Place it here” he motioned to his desk. Thank heavens he said a
    complete sentence!

    She shakily walked close to his desk, a whiff of his aftershave immediately tickled her nostrils and she inhaled deeply, capturing the subtle scent. She could see his face but not fully. He was still putting on his shades.

    She placed the cup of coffee on the oak table, staring at his five o’clock shadow and the contour of his defined jawline, his tousled black hair… He still didn’t look up from his laptop. She proceeded slowly for the door, wanting to get out of the brain-sick home. As she reached for the doorknob she was stopped by his clear and firm voice “wait” he ordered, his voice reeked of authority. She gasped slightly. She could just make a run for it and ignore him but he was the top dog, the man with all the money and she was the girl with- well none. Just a phone call could ruin her entire life.

    “You must be my new PA I presume” he said, bringing her out of her dilemma. PA? No, no, she was far from that, but she knew better than to open her mouth.

    “Come here” he instructed, his words clearly meaning she didn’t have a choice but to adhere. With her eyes wide, she was still backing him, her feet were frozen to the tiled ground but she bravely gathered her spilt courage and whirled around, heart plummeting.

    “Here, arrange these” he handed her a stash of foreign documents and she looked at him in sheer puzzlement.

    This was a huge mistake she wanted to say but zipped up her mouth. He took in her confusion and he added “just arrange them in alphabetical order, it’s stated there” he explained blandly. She immediately nodded like an exemplary student. It wasn’t tedious, she could totally do it in less than five minutes, she smiled inwardly and started with the papers. Her butt ached and she wanted to be engulfed in the warmth of the cream coloured sofa surrounding the room.

    She was all done and grinned at her own accomplishment. She made an effort to place the documents on his heavy round desk but he immediately retracted her by firmly holding her wrist, which ignited a queer fire inside of her, it burned and she fleeted back at the weird feeling she suddenly had.

    “Use your right hand, don’t jinx it” he interjected superstitiously. She stifled an eye roll but gave a subtle nod instead and immediately succumbed to his request. He finally looked up from his laptop, removing his shades in the process and placing it on the desk. He met her eyes and she forgot how to suddenly breathe.
    Very black as coal eyes plunged into her like a hole, draining her last drop of composure.

    He was like one of those Greek gods she read about in books. What was happening? Why was she acting like a little girl with out of the place teenage hormones?
    His lips slightly rose at the side into a smirk. Lost in ecstasy she knocked over a binder, he was currently working on, making the papers spill all over the floor in freedom. He rose with anger, making her gasp, her hands flying over her mouth and she blenched, moving back.

    “How dare you” her act made him bristle with rage, he moved close to her, she made retracting steps and he followed until her back made contact with the artistic walls of the room. Was he actually going to hit her? He put too much efforts getting those documents in order and now he had to start over, he was right in front of her. Their bodies almost touching, his dark eyes were blazing with fury, she closed her eyes anticipating a slap, perhaps maybe a blow? but it didn’t come. She slowly fluttered her eyes open scared to even apologize. He sighed, closing his eyes. “Get out now” he yelled, trying to keep calm. she did, scurrying to the lift and going down to Mr. Augustine.

    Such a bastard she thought, who was he to yell at her? It was a simple mistake anyone could have made. She concluded that she hated him and prayed never to cross paths with him ever again.

    * *

    True to his words, two cups of slightly hot coffee were placed on Mr. Augustine’s desk and she chugged it down her throat, making her happy stomach beam.

    “I have a proposal to make” Mr. Augustine started. He rubbed at his jaw where stubble grew chaotically. Genevieve’s brows rose.

    “You have a proposal to make” she parroted, giving him a quizzical stare which he only nodded.
    “you see, the boss needs a new PA”

    “What happened to his old PA?” she inquired, she wouldn’t be surprised if the PA ran off not able to handle the
    devil himself.

    “She went on a maternity leave, so he needs a temporary PA” Mr. Augustine explained.

    “So how am I involved in this?” Genevieve probed, oblivious to his requests.

    “I want you to be his new PA” he blurted out quickly and held her eyes with his gaze, afraid she was going to disappear. She stared at him in alarm wondering if he suddenly got infected by a mad bee.

    “No, no, no. You’re kidding me right? Please tell me you are” She stopped to ask but groaned when she saw his blank expression, she continued “no offence but your boss is terrifying. I don’t even think he’s human”

    Mr. Augustine chuckled at her bluntness, knowing obviously that the little errand didn’t go well. He squinted his dark eyes at her in warning at her earlier statement. He knew that it was partly true but he wasn’t going to be bitchy about the company’s head. She put her hands up in defence then pursed her lips in total disapproval.

    “I have no experiences whatsoever in office work, so it’s a big no no” she scoffed, folding her arms against her chest.

    “Please Genevieve, the boss asked me to get him a new PA two days ago but I totally forgot about it. It’s like you were heaven sent. I saw the way you handled Ms. Sofia earlier, you’re confident and you’ve got potentials, the boss needs someone like you. Yes definitely you-” he stopped, searching her eyes then continued “-I need the CEO’s vote to get voted as vice president in this company and this will gain his trust more. He already thinks you’re his PA since you were the only one he wasn’t acquainted with yet. I will double the money you came here for. I swear”
    he confessed, searching her face again for a reply but she was nonplussed at his eagerness. He
    wanted to double it! he got her silence all wrong because he quickly added “I will triple it”

    She couldn’t blink, this was an act of blandishment. She knew that but she was so enjoying the offer. She needed it, her family needed it. Her face softened, making relief sweep through Mr. Augustine, happy for finally making her see things his way.

    “Are you serious?” She couldn’t help but ask. She wouldn’t be surprised if he tricked her into being the boss’s PA then bail on her in the future. This was the 21st century.

    “There is also a fixed salary going to be paid to you at the end of each month until I get a permanent PA for him. Give me your bank details, i will transfer the money to you right now” he smiled, bringing out his phone from his shirt pocket. She was dumbfounded, he wasn’t bluffing or anything.
    But does it seriously worth it? she couldn’t help but ask herself, working directly for the devil.

    Who was she kidding, she needed the pay so badly that she couldn’t mind but take it. She gave him her details and immediately, her phone beamed. Her arms shook as she reached for her black mobile phone in her jean pocket. And almost screamed. Seventy-two thousand naira was credited into her account. She grinned, stretching out her arm.

    “You’ve got yourself a deal Mr. Augustine”

    To be continue…

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  12. Chapter 1
    Title: Doomsday

    Genevieve was venturing through the bustling streets of Lagos. She stopped in front of a colossal building with the words ‘Coker enterprises’ blazoned across the building, she shivered at it’s magnificence. She suddenly felt intimidated but she was Genevieve. Doughty and confident Genevieve and she took poo from no one, after fortifying her self with quite a few pep talks, she finally decided to go into the building. But her feet stuck to the ground in total disagreement.

    She sighed, dragging her shaky legs and traveling through the revolving doors and into the highly polished reception.
    No one was there, shouldn’t there be a receptionist behind that table? She wondered. She had an urge to take one of the office passes on the desk but shook her head against it, her moral scruples were kicking in.
    She was here to get her money and her money she must get.

    She spotted a lift and a wave of human beings dressed in appropriate office clothes, waiting for the lift. They all went in, including her. Some of them were glancing at their watches from time to time and others looked straight ahead, not bothering to shift their gazes while she tapped on her foot impatiently, slightly irritated with the chorus of piano solo filling her ears in the lift. Everyone in there had something on their minds obviously.

    Finally it stopped and she hurriedly got out, not waiting a split second. Sombre faces watched her with identical expressions of puzzlement.
    She bravely strutted to a desk and gave her best smile she could muster to the Lady behind it.

    “Good morning miss, how can I help you?” The older lady with a office ID Ms.Tope asked with a similar smile but hers was genuine.

    “Er. See- well….the thing is..” Genevieve started but couldn’t utter a decent sentence, she suddenly felt embarrassed for coming here in the first place. Tope simply gave a humorous chuckle.

    Genevieve was about to perhaps utter more pleasant words but was cut off by a haughty voice belonging to a tall, elegant woman, putting on a black office dress that Genevieve lust to get, not only that but her legs looked endless in those high heels she was in. Genevieve suddenly frowned at her own denim jeans and a last minute white flannel shirt and flat sandals. It looked like garbage complained to the lady’s.

    “And where is your office pass?” The woman requested firmly. Genevieve concluded that she didn’t like her right there.

    “Oh that” Genevieve scratched her head, suddenly hating herself for refusing to pick it up at the desk.

    “Then I guess you should leave” the woman said, blatantly eyeing Genevieve.

    “Just listen to me OK?” Genevieve started, looking for the right words this time.

    “I worked as a Brand Ambassador for the Cokers and up till now, I haven’t received my pay, everyone has but me” she explained slowly like she was talking to a five year old and the room filled with whispers and snickers.

    What were they laughing about? She thought.
    “Okay, now I can see that you obviously missed the wrong building. This isn’t a psychiatric hospital for retards like you, so do yourself a favour and get out” the woman snarled pointing towards the lift. What was her problem?

    Genevieve anger blazed up to the maximum and she couldn’t stop the words from flying out of her mouth.
    “You are the one who clearly needs to see a psychiatrist. I mean, its Not my fault you woke up at the wrong side of the bed, don’t fix your rage on me, I know my rights pretty well” Genevieve retorted, she walked closer and stood in front of the woman, matching her height. She saw an office ID on her dress which read Ms. Sofia. Finance department.

    “Rights? Pttf, now watch me throw them out the window. security! Security!!” Sofia yelled, scanning the room for any close by.

    “What’s going on here? and who are you?” A short, slightly bald man appeared from one of the doors displeased with the hullabaloo created.

    “Who are you?” He inquired again, turning to Genevieve, scrutinizing her closely for familiarity but zero. Genevieve sighed inwardly, she had to re-explain her self again which was more than embarrassing for her today.

    “I’m Genevieve sir and I just want to get my money, but she clearly doesn’t understand” she said the last sentence through gritted teeth, referring to Sofia.

    “Well Genevieve, I’m Mr. Augustine. You are a stranger here, you shouldn’t cause a scene. Just follow me please and explain yourself properly” He motioned to a door adjacent her position and she nodded but again was stopped by a voice only that it was a nervous voice.

    “He’s here, he’s here. The CEO has arrived. Everyone act natural” the voice instructed and disappeared in a whoosh. Genevieve was confused and seeing the nervous, scared faces of everyone in the room elevated her confusion. If that was a way to act natural then it was a total fail!

    A mahogany skinned man stepped out of the lift in a three piece Armani suit and dress shoes. Genevieve couldn’t make out his identity, his face was partly imprisoned in dark shades that inflated her curiosity more. He took gallant and bold strides towards them. Everyone muttering a ‘good morning sir’, but he didn’t even bother to give an answer. And there she knew that he was the top dog. He was the CEO and she happens to meet him right at her first attempt on entering into the building. Today wasn’t really going well!

    He moved his head from side to side, sucking all her serenity away and drowning it into the Mississippi. Even if he was in a far distance, even if she couldn’t make out his prominent features, she knew he was hot and really young of about twenty six perhaps? she expected him to be rusty and grey-haired but he was far from that. A son maybe?

    He finally rested on her frame and opened his full velvet lips, slightly making out words that left her speechless.

    “coffee. office. now” he ordered firmly.

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